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Thursday, October 31, 2013

It's that time again, writers: NaNoWriMo

I've talked about it before. NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. The impetus that drove me to finally buckle my ass down and write after years of "not having the time" to write a novel.

Yes, I know the novel I'm talking about on here all the damn time is still unfinished. But little did you know -- that's what NaNoWriMo is for.

Here's the thing. I am a hyper-competitive person. I grew up with hyper-competitive people. I thrive when it comes to anything that even slightly resembles a contest. It brings out the best in me. Don't think you're competitive? Well I don't believe you.

Scrabble: banned from my house since 2008.
Competition isn't just about beating others. Although I do enjoy that part of it, personally, I guess I can kind of see where that's not everyone's thing. Competition is primarily about challenge -- whether you're challenging others, reality, or yourself. That's why I think NaNoWriMo rocks and that everyone who writes or wants to write should do it. Because writing is challenging.

Tomorrow, November 1st, kicks off NaNoWriMo. The goal: write 50,000 words in 30 days. "No sweat,"
some of you say, cockily cracking your knuckles (didn't your mother ever tell you that was rude) and posing jauntily over your keyboards. Calm down, cowboy. There's a few hours yet to go. "Impossible!" say those among you who I'm judging to be a lot more sane than our cocky, jaunty friends. I like you, naysayers. You've got a good dose of schmantasy running through your veins. But you're also wrong.

It is very possible, and you should go do it. "Doesn't this go against your philosophy of not doing a little everyday?"

No. Because first of all, that's not so much a philosophy as a limitation of my personality. And also, because I don't do a little everyday, even when I 'wrimo. That'd be too easy. My graph looks more like this:

I basically only managed to stay above the line and reach my goal because I do a power session on day one to give my lazy ass some cushion. This is how I 'wrimo. And it doesn't just have to be new novels, either.

Recently, I came to the decision to split my now 57,000 word novel into two books. More on that painful decision later, I'm not coping very well at the moment. Now I'm left with book 1 at roughly 41,000 words and book 2 at 16,000 words. My 'wrimo goal is to add 50,000 words to these two babies, hopefully finally finishing off book 1.

So, there's my November advice. Try to engage in a little friendly (or unfriendly) competition with strangers on the Internet, or with yourself. Or friends, if you have them. Tailor the goal to fit wherever you are in the process -- whether you're just beginning or in the process of editing. But do something to light a non-literal fire under your ass and get going.*

*The author of this blog does not condone actually fire-lighting, especially in the ass region.

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