NaNoWriMo

Tonight I was scanning the blogosphere for interesting things to read and comment on, and I found this: [How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo: Your 4-Week Success Plan]. When I saw the abbreviation, I knew what it meant, although I can’t tell where it was that I first saw it. I remember it generating a lot of Twitter activity last year, so maybe I’m thinking of the hashtag. Anyway, a while back I wrote a post about the futility of writing for writing’s sake, by churning out 500 words of absolute drivel. But there’s something about this that seems appealing. I have ideas for a few books, and I attempted to write one a few years back. Unfortunately I was suffering from undiagnosed depression at the time; and so everything was a huge mental effort, and my self-motivation was non-existent. But now, I’m on the road to recovery. Some days can still be So. Damn. Hard. But I am well enough to function at least some of the time. I’d like to give it another try. Maybe the focus and intensity of NaNoWriMo will help me with its targets and goals. Maybe the rigidity of it will tempt me into not bothering. But I have to give it a go. I’ll let you know how it goes (and include a link to the finished masterpiece, of course).

One thing I’m unsure about is whether or not to include my planning and reviewing time within the month of November or not, like in the link above. The NaNoWriMo community is based around word count, and I wouldn’t consider my disordered planning scribbles to necessarily even be words, so I guess that planning it beforehand is ok. Or maybe I’ll start writing now, and use November as a way to rack up 50,000 words of the total

I’m undecided as to whether I want to take part in the actual contest or not. If I do write a novel, I want to get published for sure, and NaNoWriMo is great publicity. But it may also thrust me into the spotlight a little too soon: I’m very particular about things being finished just right (this is a symptom of OCD, but you don’t have to have OCD to be a nitpicker). This is also completely antithetical to the creative writing process. I don’t seem to believe in drafts or rehearsals, yet these are a necessary part of the production of a work of literature. Maybe I need to practice leaving things unfinished. Perhaps NaNoWriMo could be just the therapy I need.

Leave a Comment