Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I went and signed up for NaNoWriMo yesterday. I'd thought at one time that I'd never do that again. I thought I'd gotten out of it what I needed to get out of that writing madness.

Perhaps I'd better explain NaNo, as it's affectionately called. Well, "affectionately" depends on when in November it is and how many words you've written. Because NaNo is all about word count. The idea is to write a 50K novel starting on November 1 and finishing on or before November 30. You only have to write 1667 words every day for the whole 30 days to win. That can be done in a couple of hours, if you just write the story, no editing, no worrying about the quality of this very rough draft. The NaNoWriMo (which stands for "National Novel Writing Month") official web site can be found here, in case you'd like to join several hundred thousand mad folks from all over the world.

Anyway, I signed up. I've beaten NaNo. I know I can put that many words on the page, if I want to. So, why do it? Especially since I may not be able to finish. I've got a much busier life than I had the year I beat NaNo. So, why do it? Because I want to play with words. I want to just have fun with writing. I've forgotten that part because so much of my life has been about money, as it tends to be when your income is as uncertain as ours has been for the past ten years, but particularly the past three, almost four years. And even though I'm not sure I can get that couple of hours every day, I signed up officially. I'll push myself harder if it's official, than if I decide in advance to lose, which is what I'd be telling myself if I just said I was doing it "unofficially".

I'm going to play with some ideas this month and see which one screams, "Write ME!" Then I'll pick that one and start and see what I get. Maybe I'll put up a progress bar for NaNo. Maybe I won't, since, for me, it's about having fun with other people having fun with writing a story, not about whether I win or lose. We'll see when I get closer to NaNo. My competitive spirit may stick up for itself and insist on keeping careful track of the word count. I'm feeling ambivalent about it because I really just want to rebuild the habit of writing.