Friday, October 26, 2007


I've decided to do the NaNoWriMo. If you've never heard of this event before, here is how the website describes it:

"National Writing Month is a seat-of-your-pants approach to writing a novel. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175 page (50,000 word) novel by November 30."

Why do I want to the do this? Here are the reasons in no particular order:

  • Every fall when writers start gearing up for this event, I think about signing up. I've always had excuses to not do so, the biggest being "work," but now I'm retired and that excuse has fizzled. As my dear Cindy pointed out when I began thinking about signing up this fall, "If this is something you want to do, why would you wait? You never know what life will bring next year." I countered with, "You're supposed to be talking me out of this madness." To which she responded, "If I try to talk you out of it, you will be even more determined to do it. If I encourage you, you have to argue with yourself." How did she get so smart??
  • My writing life needs a boost. Blogging everyday has been a great motivator. Just think how much momentum I'll get out of having to complete the requiste 1667 words a day. That will really push my edges and those who have done NaNoWriMo say that the focus on output rather than quality eliminates the internal editor and lowers one's standards of excellence. The result is taking more risks and leaps of faith.
  • I have a competitive streak and this thing is set up like a competition. You can simply watch your own word count mounting each day or you can set yourself up to watch how you compare to other writer's progress. In 2006, 79,000 people started and 13,000 finished. I can already feel the urge to be among the finishers.
  • I work well under pressure. Thirty days to write 50,000 words is humongous pressure.
  • What do I have to lose? Maybe a little sleep. I'll probably start drinking coffee again (but I don't have to). I may miss a few social engagements. I'll probably drive Cindy nuts by being totally distracted. My bottom, lower back, and wrists will surely ache from sitting in front of the computer. But in a month it will all be over, and I will have WON the competition. Anyone who finishes is considered a winner.


What you can do to help:

Hold me accountable. Whenever you see me, ask me how it's going with NaNoWriMo. Ask me how many words I've written all together or how many of written that day. Ask me if I'm eating well and exercising. Invite me for a walk. Accept my excuses when I decline social invitations. Tell me to drink plenty of water. Send me encouraging email messages or write comments here. (I intend to blog about my progress.) Don't tell me I'm crazy. (I know that.) Tell me I'm courageous, brave, and creative.

It all starts on November 1. Stay tuned,



Catherine J Gardner / Phoenix Rendell said...

Good luck with your NaNo project - we have less than a week until lift off now :)

twilightme said...

You made my day by posting this comment! Can I make you one of my buddies on NaNoWriMo? All the best to you as well!ph

Owl2u said...

I hate to tell you, but I've always been smart...:)
WAY TO GO GIRL!! I'm proud of you...I know you can do it, and you'll grow because of it. Now, on a lighter note...there goes any possibility of you realizing you don't live alone or having a conversation with you in November!
That's okay, I have my kitties to talk with. Have fun!

Annie said...

Go for it! I just heard about this from RC and thought of you, we're behind you 100%.

Jon Clancy said...

Hey, I did some snooping around to find some other people diving into the NaNoWriMo ordeal. I am perhaps too ignorant to be nervous about it, but I wanted to wish you well! If you want some competition feel free to make me a buddy on NaNoWriMo!

Organic Medic

Catherine J Gardner / Phoenix Rendell said...

Hi Twilight, thanks for visiting my blog. To answer your questions. The word meter can be found at 'zokutou' just type it in google and you'll find it (it's going to be down for maintenance the 28th) and I found your blog via a blog search on Google... I'm frightfest over on NaNo so if you want to buddy up that would be cool. Are you twilighttime there too? Cate :)

Catherine J Gardner / Phoenix Rendell said...

I've finally got into the NaNo site to add you as a buddy. Cate :)