Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Whole Month of Nothing to Do

So why not write a novel, eh? I have to admit I'd never heard of this Na(tional) No(vel) Wri(ting) Mo(nth) before my friend announced she was doing it. Go ahead, say it, NaNoWriMo. Rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? (Not for me it doesn't. I've yet to be able to pronounce it without thinking of the order of the words.) At any rate, I signed up, too, with only a vague idea in mind and no notion of whether I can actually get a novel out of it. I know 50,000 words sounds daunting, but it's really less than 4 pages a day if you single space. I admit that's 4 more pages than I normally write a day . . .

I'm not going into this with the idea that on December 1st I will have a novel ready to submit to [publisher of your choice]. What I'm hoping for is that discipline will do my writing good, that I will get some ideas which could be turned into submittable stories with some editing, and that writing will do my mood some good or at least distract me from melancholy. Wouldn't that be grand?

This is the point in the post when I mock/criticize/humiliate my husband. Or at least that is the way he seems to see it every time I mention him in what I intend to be a humorous fashion. You know, like he's my comic effect. If this blog were a Shakespearean drama, he would be my clown. No? Not any better, Honey? I did try. At any rate, when I told him I was going to write a novel in November, his response was, Oh, no, you're not getting caught up in that NaNoWriMo nonsense, are you? (And, notice, he pronounced it correctly without even thinking about it.)

Apparently, his much longer history of wasting time on the internet has included blog and message board reading with former participants of the novel-writing challenge. After warning me that I will want to claw my eyes out (or something like that) after a week or two and Don't come crying to me on November 10th that you want to quit, he did manage a I-think-you're-crazy-but-if-you-want-to-do-this-okay-then kind of support.

Part of this might be my own fault, as I am not very vocal about my writing aspirations, even to him. I always thought that it would sound pretentious, especially if I rarely produced anything and never attempted to publish anything. At times I thought (and still think a little bit) that it's one of those aspirations from childhood, cultivated from being an avid reader, and nurtured by being an English major, that isn't realistic so it just fades away. Like you either become a writer or you outgrow it.

This is an example of (unhealthy) all-or-nothing thinking. Since I can't be a successful published novelist, I shouldn't even bother to write. Also it defeats itself, since I couldn't become the former without doing the latter. So, I'm going to try it. Next November I'll (hopefully) be working, so I'll have less time and more excuses. I could do it anytime, of course, but the online support is good and brings out my little competitive edge.

Join me if you dare.


JG said...

I dare! And that makes me think of the signs as you go through NC on I-95 -- "We dare! We bare!"

Karen said...

In Florida we have "We Bare All" for about 70 miles until you get to this really depressing little restaurant the size of a Perkins but with no windows. Here it is, folks, your long-awaited nude waitresses: Cafe Risque.