I Must Be Crazy (NaNoWriMo)October 31, 2011
Yep, crazy. Batshit insane. My schedule is such these days that I can barely keep up with regular updates on this blog as it is, but I’m still going to attempt National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.
Organizers of the event say that the aim is simply to get people to start writing, using the deadline as an incentive to get the story going and to put words to paper. Participants’ novels can be on any theme and in any genre, and in any language. Starting at midnight November 1, novels must reach a minimum of 50,000 words before 11:59:59 PM on November 30, local time. No official prizes are awarded for length, quality, or speed. Anyone who reaches the 50,000 word mark is declared a winner. The only significant reward for winning is the finished novel itself and the satisfaction of having written it…
Not surprisingly, I first found out about this month-long event a couple years ago from other bloggers. We’re all writers, whether we like it or not, because of the fact we blog. Some of us dream of more; others simply have had a few ideas bouncing around inside their heads for the last few years, and are dying to get them down on paper.
I put myself in the latter category. While I’ve never aspired to write a novel, for the longest time I’ve wanted to put words to my shapeless concepts and make something more of them. Being the procrastinator that I am and also constantly telling myself that there’s always “something more important” to do first, it’s no wonder I’ve never gotten around to it.
I think that’s why the idea of NaNo appeals to me so much. Having a deadline, self-perceived or not, is always the first step in getting me off my ass to get something done. The other thing is the “we’re all in this together” mentality, proving that sometimes peer pressure can be good. More than 200,000 people participated in the event last year, so even more are expected to be doing it this year, and tomorrow I join their ranks.
In addition, I know of several of my friends in the gaming community who are also doing it, even a few who have “won” in past years, so hey, I’ll know who to look to for encouragement! (By the way, NaNo virgin here. So any advice/suggestions/support/consoling/warnings/motivational threats, etc. would be welcome and appreciated, especially if you’ve done this before, regardless of whether or not you’ve conquered the 50K words.)
I’m so psyched for November, and not just because of this. It’s going to be a month full of things to look forward to — new books, games, gadgets, holidays, and fun stuff in general. All of which are going to serve as distractions, I’m afraid, but I told myself earlier this year that I was going to do it so I’m gonna try my darndest anyway. By that, I mean I’m mostly going to wing it.
Wish me luck.