Ever heard of NaNoWriMo?
Last year I heard the guy speak in NYC at a conference. The guy who “invented” National Novel Writing Month. Get it? The first letters of each word makes NaNoWriMo.
If you say NaNoWriMo then you will understand why this abbreviation works. It sounds like the word should describe a cure for constipation, doesn’t it? And in a way- it does.
The idea is to write 50,000 brand spanking new words in the month of November. Not perfect words, not necessarily an entire book, but about 1667 words a day, all new, in one month.
Some people scoff at the notion that a person should try to do this. And I agree in the sense that if you are writing sentences that mean nothing to anyone, even yourself- yeah, don’t bother.
But this is the push that many people need to sit down and do it. Write that novel that has been hovering in the back of your mind for a decade. Remember that weird thing that happened that one time and you always said it was stranger than fiction? You know that coincidence that fed into that serendipitous situation that exploded with karmic resolution? Or those notes in your bottom drawer? The journal that you kept during that awful time? The box of letters your great grandpa gave you from the war?
People, just do it. Give it a try. Worst case- you waste a month. Best case- you love doing it.
Last year I wrote my YA novel The Shadow Grove Group Home for Girls. I revised throughout the year, put it through its paces with my critique group, massaged the plot some, kicked its tires with my boot, and then last month an agent requested the entire manuscript. Then another did. To me, that means it was worth a read, right? I have not heard back from the agents and I’m not holding my breath but I’m not apologizing for dreaming either. These things take time and in the meanwhile, I’m writing my next NaNoWriMo novel, a slice-of-life, coming-of-middle-age story that I will not reveal by title yet. (Bribes accepted.)
If I knew how, I’d make a CAPTCHA and see who could read the jumbled letters of the title through the wavy, fuzzy blur.
Since I can’t, I’ll get back to writing. For those who like to be held accountable by inanimate objects or pie charts, log onto the NaNoWriMo website and track your word count. If you make it, you get a t-shirt. (http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/dashboard) Good Luck! Crack those knuckles!
“I wrote a novel and all I got was this lousy t-shirt”,
PS. I love my t-shirt. It’s magical.