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National Novel Writing Month

So I am going to participate in NanoWriMo again this year. For the unfamiliar the goal is to write a complete novel of 50,000 words during the month of November.

My last attempt many years ago was not very successful, with me only completing a single chapter before giving up.

So this year I bought this book to help with my journey, and it is filled with some very sage advice.

According to that author everyone has a novel inside of them, and all that they need to write it is one very magical thing, a deadline.

He offers many astute suggestions to keep yourself motivated, two of my favorites included "wild boasting about your noveling skills to friends and family", the idea being that if you set yourself up for a big fall, that is all the more encouragement to avoid it. He also listed the example of several people who would write a check to a charity or organization that they are violently opposed to, and give it to a friend in a stamped envelope with the instructions of mailing it should you not have reached the 50k word mark on time. The idea of setting up an ingenious machination against yourself to force yourself do something really appeals.

Sadly, even though I am only a day and half in, I already feel overwhelmed and behind. I'm already some 2.5k words behind, and looking forward I just don't see where the time is going to come from to do the raw typing necessary, let alone the inspiration.

I have often thought that one's creative pools were given out in daily quotas, and to over draw from them would be to invite your muse to chuck all your imaginative t-shirts on the lawn of something or other.

Every time i think about it the 50k word goal really frightens me. I can recall as a 5th grader, agonizing over a weekend in my attempts to complete a 500 word essay. The fact that I have voluntarily undertaken that assignment times 100x would no doubt flummox my young self to the point of muteness. I haven't the guts to check, but I strongly suspect 50k words is quite a bit more than every single blog post I've made put together...

However, the real thrust of NaNoWriMo is to get people to break the bad habit of assuming that a creative work has to start out perfect. NaNoWriMo's sole drive of quantity over quality is going to be the true problem for me. Even though I'm only 600 words in, I have already completely rewritten them once. Putting down rubbish or not-quite funny jokes really does cause me injury, and I am not entirely sure why.

In any case, do not fear, the one thing I won't be asking anyone to do is read my half written novel for feedback. If you have the freetime there is better stuff to be read. I would ask that you do your best to mock me mercilessly during these months whenever convenient for you.