Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kicking off NaNoWriMo

In just eighteen minutes, it will be November 1st in my time zone. When that happens, I'll be allowed to start writing the 50,000 words required to win National Novel Writing Month. People call it NaNo for short, but the smallness implied by this abbreviation is at odds with actual hugeness of the task. To get this done, I will need to write an average of 1,724 words every day, not including Thanksgiving Day. If I don't end up with any plans for Thanksgiving, then I'll be giving thanks for some extra time to spend on my novel.

Will this task be difficult? I'm not sure. I know that I can easily write a couple thousand words in just a few hours when I'm inspired. The challenge will be to stay inspired, or, failing that, to write even when I'm not inspired. NaNo guides are full of advice about how to shut off your "inner editor" and just write. Sometimes I can do that...sometimes I can't. One thing that should make it easier is that I've chosen for NaNo a story idea which I cherish somewhat less than The Novel that I have been wrestling with moths or years, depending on how you count. Working on the less developed idea will, I hope, give me freedom to write without worrying about about such trifling matters as originality, plausibility, etc.

Why am I doing this? Mostly, it's to see if I can. If I can do this, I'm hoping the memory of it will buoy me up when I start to wonder if writing is really something I should be pursuing at all. I also hope that thirty days of living with intensive writing as my first priority will jog me into a routine or ritual that I can come back to for my next writing project. If I should happen to get the beginnings of a publishable novel out of this exercise, that also would be nice.

Why am I blogging about it? A few reasons. I've wanted to start a blog for some time, and this seemed as good a milestone as any for the inaugural post. More than that, though, I want to harness the power of peer pressure to keep me on track during NaNoWriMo. Please follow this blog. I will be posting my daily wordcount here. If you notice that I'm falling behind, I invite you pester me via comment, phone, email, IM, Facebook, Twitter, Wave, or whatever way you have of reaching me. Even if you don't, knowing that you're watching will help keep me going.

Two minutes to go...


  1. OK, I'm watching you. I subscribed to your feed. Go!

  2. OK JJR, you have inspired me to participate, too! maybe I should look up the rules. 50k words? how many pages iss that, roughly?

    DCn I reserve the month of December for editing? Do I have to offically sign up somewhere or do I just "declare" it to the world and I'm off?

    ...and... uh.. does spelling count?

  3. It's all on the site, man! You can totally save all the editing for fact, you are supposed to. I don't know how many pages it is, but most real novels you would buy are more like 100k or 200k, so in fact the NaNo goal is pretty short for a novel.

  4. I love it! Go! JJ, GO!

    And... I'm watching you...!

  5. And you'll be pleased by "ingaz" as today's captcha of choice.

  6. Thanks for the encouragement, Vadose! I also approve of "ingaz".