Thursday, November 02, 2006


I just found out about this via Fridgemagnet. Oh, I am so tempted. 50,000 words in a month.I love the approach, the just throw yourself into itand WRITE, dammit, on the fly, hell-for-leather, don't analyse, just type.

From the website...

'' What is NaNoWriMo?
National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and -- when the thing is done -- the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

In 2005, we had over 59,000 participants. Nearly 10,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists. ''

Well, now there is a challenge. Except I am already writing something else. But I am seriously thinking about whether to take a 4 week break ( 29 days) and hurl out a 175 page novel, just to do it, just to break the anxiety and scaredycatness about writing a novel ( which was what I was planning to do after finishing what I am working on now. )

I might write a first chapter, just to flex my mental muscles, and see if it starts to run off the pages and write itself. I have an idea for a short story that could develop...and I have an idea for a fascinating character based on a real person who I'd love to write into a book...a conflict-engineering virus of a person, a manipulator, insinuator, psychic bottom-feeder, a lonely monster whose elastic mind has stretched too far and is starting to unravel...

NO! This is clearly a bizarre type of procrastination. To stop working on what I'm doing and try out this project for size for a month? Can I possibly do both? Hmm, don't be silly. Curses, the timing is all wrong for me. But what it has done is inspire me even more. And that's a good thing. And I'll be checking the site every day as all those people write furiously, and they head for their deadline, and I head for mine, all of us passionately engaged in doing something we always wanted to do. Type! Type! Coffee! Type! Go, Fridgemagnet, and go everyone else... and we're off!


Blogger Holly Finch said...

i saw that too, in the paper this morning...very tempting....maybe next year tho....think you should stick to your marvellous book!

lovely to see you last night....'the times they are a changing'

November 02, 2006 10:15 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! I did a fake version last year with the goal of 31k in 30 days. That was simple enough (even working 45-50 hours a week and driving 10 hours of commute) so, I cinched up the trews and signed up.

Day one's word count is 5638. It's fun! Join the insanity : )

November 02, 2006 12:57 pm  
Blogger wildiris said...

Rachel, I saw this too yesterday, and was sorely tempted. When I tried to log on to the website though, it was down, so there must be thousands crazy enough to do this. In my case, it would also be an insane form of procrastination, given that I'm meant to be writing a dissertation. If I did it (the novel) it would be an extreme example of structured procrastination
(see - a concept I have come to embrace as as a strategy for getting things done!

November 02, 2006 8:43 pm  
Blogger The CEO said...

With your talent and ability to turn out such excellent work, why would you try to turn out a large quantity of inferior material for any reason?

I like your idea of using the month as a deadline and competing against those people, but I enjoy your finished product too much and crave more.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you come back. It certainly isn't for the writing.

November 03, 2006 12:24 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rachel, have you ever seen a book called 'On Becoming a Writer' by Dorothea Brand? Quite old now but still in use. It's full of exercises to get the words flowing, including one that involves writing every day for a short period between set times on anything that comes into your head, without stopping, correcting or editing.

November 03, 2006 9:36 am  

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