"With the certitude of a true believer, Vellya Paapen had assured the twins that there was no such thing in the world as a black cat. He said that there were only black, cat-shaped holes in the universe."
-- Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

Saturday, October 26, 2013


The first time I heard someone say "NaNoWriMo," I said "gesundheit."  Or pictured a Pokemon character.  Or thought they were having a stroke.  I don’t honestly remember the exact form my confusion took—I just know I had no idea what they were talking about.

So I found out.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.  And that month happens to be November.

Every November, thousands of people of all ages challenge themselves to write a novel (or at least 50,000 words of it) in 30 days.  It’s free to sign up, and if you do, you become inducted into a club of sorts, a community of writers all striving toward the same goal.  There are online forums in which to discuss issues, in-person workshops to attend in cities all over the country, and various tools, apps, and reminders to help you along the way.

Or so I’ve heard.  I wouldn’t know (yet) because I have never done it.  Until now.

The purpose of this blog post is to announce that, come November 1st, I will be diving into the world of NaNoWriMo. 

My writing table
For better or for worse, this November I’ve decided to tackle the young adult novel that’s been swimming around in my head for two years.  Even though I’m going out of town twice during the month.  Even though the longest thing I’ve written this month is a 3,000-word short story.  Even though the task of putting-my-butt-in-a-chair-and-writing THAT MUCH scares me a little.  Or maybe because it does.

I haven’t done much so far.  I’ve signed up, I’ve entered the name of my novel (the working title is No Pause Button) and I’ve posted a synopsis and excerpt, all of which you can read here.  Since then I have received a steady stream of emails which have succeeded in making me feel behind in something that hasn’t even truly started yet. 

[Side note:  It reminds me of when my husband and I were planning our wedding.  He proposed to me, and we promptly set a wedding date for six months away.  Then, a week later, we bought a wedding planner, and inside was a list of things I needed to do six months in advance, and seven months in advance, and eight months in advance, and nine months in advance… I’m pretty sure that’s when I had my first wedding-related panic attack.  The next one was in a movie theater during a showing of New Moon (the second movie in the Twilight Saga), but that’s another story.]

This could be a problem.
Anyway, one of these anxiety-inducing emails said, “Keep your friends and family apprised of your progress,” and encouraged me to “establish an inner circle.”  Well, welcome to the inner circle, people.  By reading this blog post, you have agreed to support me, cheer me, hound me, and (anytime you see me Facebook-ing, rearranging my bookcase, or walking the dog more than twice a day) yell at me to get back to work.  However, in order to ensure that we’re still friends after this is over, you should alternate the yelling with the sending of coffee, chocolate, and pictures of kittens dangling from trees with captions like “Hang in there.” 

So… that’s pretty much it.  I am embarking on a literary journey.  If anyone out there wants to participate with me, please let me know!  We can procrastinate together…er, I mean WORK together.  Work hard.

Wish me luck!

[Note:  This blog post is 592 words long, which means in November I just have to do this 84 times and everything will be fine.  !!!]

No comments:

Post a Comment