NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month for those of us who aren’t particularly fond of acronyms (Hi, my name is Phil and I take issue with abbreviating shit down to silly little phrases), has arrived like it does every year. I mean, November does show up around the same time, generally speaking, and it’s not only marked by the turning of a calendar page. As a mildly unrelated side-note, calendars in question should be on November, not December, and so I’ve got to very politely, but very directly, ask you all to shut the hell up with your Christmas cheer and wait one more month. Much appreciated. Moving on.
There’s that deep, unshakable feeling of dread everyone who has ever participated in NaNoWriMo feels as it approaches. It should be noted, by the way, that it’s already almost November 3rd, and I’ve made slightly less progress on this year’s NaNoWriMo than I have on working out my income tax-related business. I wish I were joking. However, have I lost hope? Slightly. Will I let that be the slaying of my writery-dragon-beast-nonfunctional-metaphor? No, absolutely not. I will use that as fuel to kick ass, take names, and write what I assume will be really slap-dash fiction in the name of testing myself and seeing just how close to the edge of madness I can get without falling in (short answer: I’ve already been there and back; got the t-shirt, had souvenir photos taken, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone).
Here is my challenge to fellow writers: if you’ve never, ever tried National Novel Writing Month, give it a try. Go for it. I’m not saying hit the 50,000 word mark, as I’m well aware that life is full of unexpected impediments that leave us swearing and cleaning up messes and swearing some more (my life can, at times, be one long series of should-be bleeped expletives). See where it takes you. Maybe you’ll end up with something you look at and think, “Man, with the right editing this could be pretty neat.”
People who have been through NaNoWriMo before: join me in returning to it! If you got to 25k words last time, go for 30k. Or 40k. Or maybe even the whole 50k. Just give it another go, really, because misery loves company, writing loves company, and the two can be oddly synonymous with one another at times (except when there is bourbon involved in writing, in which case the only things suffering are grammar, spelling, and Microsoft Word’s spellcheck feature).
To those of you who started on time and are well into their National Novel Writing Month experience, I wish you the best of luck (with a side of “I hate you” because I totally should be where you all are at but I am instead sitting at the starting line with my metaphorical thumbs up my metaphorical nose). To those of you who are in the same spot as me: let’s do this! Updates will occur as possible, and I’m totally going to hit at least 35k this year because of reasons.
Edit, because I am le dumb: click here to visit the NaNoWriMo site for all the shiny information and encouragement you’ll need to get started.