My NaNoWriMo Challenge

So I happen to think NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is a really bad idea in a lot of ways.

I think that simply pounding out 50,000 words with no regard to content will get you into a lot of bad habits and may in fact leave you, at the end of thirty days, with a pile of garbage not worth ever looking at again, forget editing into something worth marketing.

Not to mention that it takes place in November.  They’ve picked one of the shortest months of the year, with a minimum of three days off from school (Veterans’ Day and two days for Thanksgiving) — or if you live where I live, a solid week for Thanksgiving — not to mention two to three days of cooking and cleaning and, oh yes, the Christmas/Hanukkah season right around the corner… Well, it is simply asinine.  Only a man or a Canadian could have come up with November for this brilliant scheme. 

However.

I love the idea of “no excuses” writing.  I am really good at coming up with reasons why I can’t write right now.  I have many things to do — I really do — but so does everyone, and I allow these things to assume an importance that they often do not deserve so that I don’t have to admit to the cowardice or confusion or whatever other emotional roadblock is keeping me from doing the real work that is necessary to move forward with my writing.

This month, my writing group has decided to set up a private blog in which we will all participate in our own version of a NaNoWriMo challenge.  There are four of us, so each of us only has to post every four days, not every day, and we aren’t holding fast to the 1,667 word minimum required to produce 50,000 words in 30 days.  It’s about creativity and accountability for us, the act of producing SOMETHING every few days and putting it out there without editing it to death.  That takes persistence and courage, and I’m proud that we’re doing it.  Whether anything worth publishing comes out of it is beside the point for us.  I like that.  I’m excited to see what we come up with.

I’m hoping that being busier and more creative will actually push me to work harder on “Finding Kate.”  I also look forward to the connectedness that NaNoWriMo promotes both in the real world and the virtual world of Twitter and Facebook.

And there will be no posting on Thanksgiving Day.  Take that, NaNoWriMo geniuses. 🙂

Are you doing anything for NaNoWriMo on any scale?

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3 Responses to My NaNoWriMo Challenge

  1. mabelgygi says:

    Maryanne,
    I am so looking forward to our NaNoWriMo project. The commitment to post on my designated days seems to have focused my mind on the work, and I find ideas popping into my mind where before there were just lists of to-do items. What fun!

  2. Pingback: NaNoWriMo Quiet Zone | A Writer's Notepad

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