Karen called me tonight to talk and in the midst of our conversation, she steered the topic to the impending arrival of November. I do not specifically recall if she mentioned putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys), but I did immediately know to what she was referring.
November is NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month.
Karen reminded me that if I wanted to participate*, I’d better come up with some narrative devices soon.
You see, you aren’t supposed to start writing until 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 1. By 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 30, you should have 50,000 words and roughly 175 pages.
It’s not meant to be publisher-ready (or -worthy). It’s just meant to remind you that writing a novel
sucks will leave you begging for sleep from Santa would find Satan devolved into a quivering blob of jelly by the end comes about only through perseverance. Or some crap like that.
The idea has its merits:
- Growing up, I wanted to be a writer. Somehow I did not imagine that my subject would be obesity or skin. Periodically, I jab myself back into action and write something for myself instead of for work. Sure, everyone in it has an abudant waist-line and psoriasis, but what of it?
- The name of this blog, a gift from Rudi two years ago, is Sprite Writes. Not Sprite Knits. Not Sprite Talks Politics. This might suggest Rudi was hoping I would channel my surpressed writer’s frustration onto this blog. And, yes, I do write here on most days. But that’s not really the same, now, is it?
- A month is a short enough period of time that one could, if one were disciplined (stop laughing!), stick to the program. The timeframe means that you *only* need to produce 6 pages or 1667 words a day. Provided you write every day. Without exception. Yeah….
There are a couple of drawbacks to the idea, though:
- I do not have a plot or characters or a kernel of an idea for a novel. I have had a couple of book ideas recently, but they’re all of the memoir/long-form essay-style/series of vignettes sort of thing as opposed to a novel. Karen says she thinks I should just stick with the spirit of the thing, as opposed to the letter of the law and just write a book. I suggested that I could write an ode instead…
- I am not disciplined. I have difficulty remembering to go to work in the morning, let alone having to remember to write 6 bloody pages every day.
- Pretty much everything I’ve read from bloggers who have taken part in previous years means that if you already have a full-time job, you pretty much have to give up everything else in order to hit your word-count goal. Do I want to skip a whole month of parties and outings and blogging and knitting?
Yes, I realize that several of the negatives make me seem undedicated and shallow. Sadly, that doesn’t make them less relevant. It may explain, however, why I’m writing health literacy books….
So, what do you think? To write or not to write?
*Grey Kitten, Karen nominated you to join us on this odyssey, too, and told me to deliver the message. She says she has her idea ready and is just waiting for the company.