By Lisabet Sarai
It sounds like the name of a tribal chieftain in some bad romance. However, don't be fooled. NaNoWriMo is short for "National Novel Writing Month", an orgy of prosifying that occurs every November. During NaNoWriMo, authors commit themselves to producing a novel or portion thereof comprising at least 50,000 words in thirty days. The event began in 1999 and is coordinated by a non-profit organization called "The Office of Letters and Light". During 2009, just under 170,000 people participated in the project, according to Wikipedia. It is, the official NaNoWriMo website proclaims, "Thirty days and nights of literary abandon".
I know that Kathleen proposed this topic because she's doing NaNoWriMo this year, and I'm eagerly awaiting her post. As for me...well, I'd dearly love to have the first draft of a new novel all ready to edit, but when I look at my other commitments... Well, I just have to say No to NaNoWriMo.
It's not that I couldn't hack it. I have no doubt that I could generate a half-decent 50K in a month. I wrote a 500-plus page dissertation in nine days - while staying with my master and playing kinky games in the evenings! Fifty thousand words in thirty days is less than 2K per day, a volume I can usually produce in three or four hours. And I have at least three novel ideas that have been simmering on my back burner.
The trouble is, I can't afford to dedicate time every day to writing. I'd love to, but it's just not possible. Meanwhile, as it happens, this November I'm going to be traveling on business for a total of 18 days -- and not the kind of travel that is conducive to writing. During the rest of the month, I'm going to be playing catch-up at work, after being away. Nope. Just not possible.
I'm sorely tempted, though. I hadn't really done the math before. Two thousand words a day seems eminently doable, if I could only commit the daily time. Plus it would be a great source of blog posts!
Maybe next year. For now, I wish Kathleen and all the other participants luck in the great push. I look forward to reading the results.