Is this the year for me?
As I finish up a crazed month and a half that included of two 6-day helicopter excursions and a week-long trip to Ventura, CA to record a new video training course for Lynda.com, I find myself with an almost empty schedule — right before the start of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
The idea behind NaNoWriMo is to write a novel in a month. The quality or marketabilty of the novel doesn’t seem to matter. Apparently, it’s more important to get the words out, preferably to complete a story, than to write something that might one day be published.
I commented extensively on NaNoWriMo back in 2005. I didn’t have much to say about it that was nice. I expanded on my thoughts in a post a few days later. You might want to read those two posts before you continue. My opinions haven’t changed.
In fact, my opinions were confirmed just today. I happened to be in a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Flagstaff, AZ. On a little table near the coffee shop area was an arrangement of books for and about NaNoWriMo. Despite the fact that November is still two weeks off, publishers and bookstores are cashing in on the needs of wannabe writers, offering them guidance for writing a novel in a month. I counted eight titles, from a small paperback to a shrinkwrapped “kit.”
I didn’t buy any of those books. I’ll never pay for anything branded as NaNoWriMo merchandise or in support of NaNoWriMo or even designed to help writers succeed in their NaNoWriMo efforts. I detest the very idea that organizations and individuals are trying to cash in on NaNoWriMo.
I’ve never participated in NaNoWriMo. My excuse is that I’ve just been too busy. When you spend all day writing about computers or something equally dull, you don’t want to spend your evenings writing.
I don’t have to prove I can write a book in a month — I’ve already done it. More than once. And my books have been published. And I’ve even made money on them.
But this year, I’m thinking I might use the ticking clock of NaNoWriMo to write the novel I started and lost. Maybe NaNoWriMo can motivate me to finish it.
So this week, I’ll pull out my notes and look them over. I’ll track down my outline and blow the digital dust off it. I’ll remember all the loose ends and how I planned to tie them up. And maybe — just maybe — I’ll be a NaNoWriMo author this year.
Anyone else out there thinking about giving it a try?