Wednesday, October 26, 2011

To Nano Or Not To Nano

It's that time of year when, if you know any writers, you're sure to have heard the word NaNoWriMo.  Yeah, whatever that means, right?  But even those of us who've never participated in the national event--yes, national--are familiar with it and know that it stands for National Novel Writing Month.  And November is just around the corner.

Before the question comes up, yes, it's possible to write a novel in a month.  WRITE a novel in a month, not have a finished, clean, and ready manuscript for an agent, editor, or even print. That isn't the goal of NaNoWriMo.  But the 50,000 words that are the goal certainly can lead to the chance of having that novel ready to submit.

NaNoWriMo began in July 1999, the dream child of Chris Baty, with 21 participants.  The following year, the project was moved to November to take advantage of weather that begged for more indoor activity than outdoor.  NaNoWriMo took root and grew.  And grew!  By last year (2010), 200,000 participants wrote 2,872,682,109 words.  That's right, almost 3 billion words!

But I haven't yet made the leap to saying, yes, I'm ready to sign on the dotted line and pledge myself to 30 days of intense writing.  (That's 1666.6666 words or approximately 7 pages per day and very doable.)  I have other irons in the fire that would have to be put aside for later, and I'm not sure if I should do that.  On the other hand, it would be very nice to have something written and ready to edit, weeks before Christmas craziness sets in.  I even have a choice of what I'd like to work on.  I have several plotted but not written stories that are begging for attention.  And there's that YA (possibly a paranormal?) that my brain was plotting as I finished a nap today.  That's definitely a sign that it's ready for my attention.  But if I choose it, I only have 5 days to plot it, and I'm not sure my brain is up to it, after having just finished plotting another book this past week.

A final decision will be made on Monday.  If I choose to sign up, I may be the last one to do it!  If I choose not to, there's always next year. :)  Stay tuned!

Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness.  One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.  ~George Orwell, "Why I Write," 1947  

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