Wednesday, October 22, 2008

NANOWRIMO (Which being translated means, Yes, I am out of my mind!)

November is a full month. For one thing there is Thanksgiving. And a huge family reunion/work project. And overnight guests.

And before that, there are 3 school visits in 3 states, a possible visit to an archive on one of those trips, an out-of-town presentation and a week long workshop to co-lead. (Somewhere along the way I should probably prepare for those workshops and school visits.)

Is there any time left for writing a novel? I don't mean an opening chapter or a scene here and there. I mean the whole hunking enchilada?

Am I crazy or what?


I've been invited to speak in December to a group of students in an early college program. The occasion of my appearance is the celebration of their completion of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It occurred to me that if I were going to show up to congratulate these students on their amazing performance, I should probably have some clue as to just how hard they worked.

The whole idea behind NaNoWriMo is to just do it! Sit down and write. Pick a word count and commit to it. If you make the word count, you win!

50,000 words is the suggested count for the adult version of NaNoWriMo. It seems about right for my books. Math is not my forte but even I can figure out that that's more than 1,000 words per day. Sounds like way too many considering my November schedule.

But it's not so much the number of words as it is how little research I've done beforehand. And the fact that I have not plotted out my novel. What if I just haven't gathered enough information to plot my story?

I can write a lot of words in a day. And it would be good for me to just let go - stop worrying over the details and tell a story. Revisions will come later. I'm not going to commit to a word count just yet. I figure I've got the rest of October to prepare and by November 1st I should have a better idea how prepared I am!

I hope to come back here often to let you know just how crazy I am going!


  1. That does sound like a crazy couple months. But if you're anything like me you will accomplish lots more with a busy schedule than you ever would have with a relaxed one. Best wishes!

  2. Right! I am counting on the busy schedule keeping me going!