November is a special month for writers. I use the term special loosely. Some masochistic someone decided that November should be the one month of the year where writers forsake all other aspects of their lives and burn up the keyboard with the novel that’s been hovering, unwritten, in their unconscious for the past 11 months.
All writers or aspiring writers have this unwritten novel. Or maybe three, like I do. And November seems like a good choice. It’s one of the short ones (30 days hath, and all that). You get a few days off work for Thanksgiving. You can fuel your writing with all of the pumpkin-flavored beverages you can get your hands on. So why not dive into manic writing mode and scrape all of the plot and character and setting and angst out of your brain and into your laptop? And thus, NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month.
The movement has a website and all kinds of supportive tools to get you to the goal, which is 50,000 words by November 30. That count may not be equal to a full novel, and participants can expect a ton of editing after the initial word dump is finished. But that’s the point – you will have written something substantial and worth editing, other than the nothing you had at the beginning of the month. They even let you befriend other writers so you can shame each other into wordsmithing into the wee hours of the cold November night.
This evening, instead of kicking off the novel, I am using my time and word count for my blog. Let’s face it – a blog entry is much less intimidating than a whole freakin’ novel. You could even say that this blog post is the perfect way to procrastinate. I am writing, after all.
If you are NaNoWriMo-ing this month, you can find me and my zero word count at username 2under1. Befriend me! With enough shame and peer pressure, maybe I’ll dust off my spiral notebook full of character notes and spit out a first draft.