What the Hell?

[Rebelle Society via 101reasonstostopwritng.com*]

1 month. 50,000 words. 150ish pages. What the hell? (Now is that "what the hell?" as in "suuuuure," or "what the hell?" as in "are you effing kidding me?)

Last year when I heard about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I thought that it was a stupid gimmick. I thought that writers should write every day, that serious writers shouldn't need games to make them write, that people would cheat, quality would be sub-par at best, and that the name was stupid. 

Fast forward a year- while I still think the name is stupid (and so hard to say), I must admit to writing zero actual in-novel words in the last twelve months. Zero. 

So, needless to say, this year I'm singing a slightly different tune. NaNoWriMo is so simple- it's free to sign up (although they do take donations, which I'll probably contribute something to) and all you have to do is write starting on November 1st and finish by the 30th. You submit your word count, not the actual text, so copyright fears do not exist. The quality aspect does have me worried, but sometimes you have to do something before you can do something (fingers crossed I use super descriptive language like that when I write). And I'm sure people do cheat, starting their novel early or by just inputting numbers, but, honestly, what does it matter? It does matter, cheaters are horrible people and they ruin the process for everyone else and I effing  

By this point, over half way through October, I had fully intended on having some more of the foundational work done, on paper. I'm going with an idea that will absolutely, positively not be publicly divulged until I sell it off for at least $200,000 (so never). I've played around with it for a few years and had the balls to talk about it with my husband once, but other than that it's been trapped in my brain working hard to make me feel incompetent and unmotivated. Actually, I've started brainstorming in the past and actually wrote maybe ten or twelve pages of worthless shit, but that's it. And now I will start afresh.

While I know it's going to be a serious struggle to get going, I do really want to finish the challenge. My aspirations regarding writing are very realistic; I understand that the chances of ever publishing (let alone making enough to quit my day job) something are slim to none, but I would like to die saying I wrote a novel. And who knows when I'll die? My goal right now is to make it to 101 (seriously), but I could be run over by a bus or strangled by an angry student next year. Or tomorrow.

My plan right now is this: have an entire plot line for an approximately 100,000 word book done by the end of the month, as well as legitimate character background profiles, and a definite setting squared away. I have a week off in the middle of the month, from the 17-24, so if I can get up to 15,000 before then I think I can make up for lost time then. Eventually I'll put a counter up on the side right bar so the world can track how shitty I'm doing. 

Go team. Does this mean I can drink more this month? Isn't that what real writers do?

*What appears to be the original source, 101reasonstostopwriting.com seems to be defunct, as it is quite old


  1. I seriously applaud you for doing this and wish you luck. As for the extra drinking? They do say you should "write drunk, but edit sober," so to THAT I say, What the hell? (and I'm sure you can figure out which version of the phrase I mean there!)

  2. I did NaNoWriMo last year. Yes,it is a dumb name. I DID NOT CHEAT. I could just be telling you that, but it is true. I'm a Weight Watchers Lifetime Member at goal. I could lie when I write things down in my food journal and the only person I would be hurting is Me. So if you're serious, you will be honest about the word count. I never thought it was possible but I completted it, in 3 weeks. I was shocked, but it happened. I'll be participating again, and this time I actually have an idea before I'm starting. Last year I only signed up the day before and had no idea what I was doing. I look forward to hearing how your month goes!!

  3. I think that sometimes you have to write a lot of crap to get to the good stuff. When I participated in Abydos (formerly the New Jersey Writing Project), we did a ton of writing. I pretty much hated everything I wrote, but I did write one poem that (if I do say so) was pretty effing amazing. It's probably the best thing I've ever written. I think it was burried inside me under all that crap. I had to get all that out of my system first. So I kind of like the idea of just writing, writing, writing.*

  4. Good for you. I think the trick here is just get words on paper and edit later - hopefully it will help you build up momentum. I hope it goes well for you and I look forward to following your progress

  5. I am thinking about doing it this year...but it's sooo much writing...and I have so many tiny creatures eating my brains every day...