nanowrimo owns my soul

50,000 words in 30 days? No problem!

If you have noticed a lack of signficant bloggage here, you can blame it on National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).    NaNoWhoMo?

From the site:

  • What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month’s time.
  • Who: You! We can’t do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let’s write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.
  • Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.
  • When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1.  To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins!

NaNoWriMo began in 1999 with a group of friends who completely lacked literary ambition.   There were 21 writers and six “winners” (those who achieved 50,000 words) that first year and by 2009 the ranks swelled to 167,150 writers and 32,178 winners.   Now coordinated by The Office of Letters and Light,  whose mission is to help children and adults find their creative voice, the nonprofit organization also offers Script Frenzy every April (participants create a graphic novel, screenplay, TV script or stage play in 30 days) and manages Young Writers Programs for Script Frenzy and NaNoWriMo

November has become the month that I go wayyyyy down into a deep, dark cave of creativity, emerging bleary-eyed and exhausted in the early hours of December 1st.  My friends say, “Has anyone heard from Adrianne?” The Roommate refers to himself as “your muse.”  I completely drop the ball on my share of household chores.   It’s  completely insanity and I love it!

There has been some criticism of NaNoWriMo, but I can’t see anything wrong with writing for the sheer joy of flexing literary muscles on a daily basis and creating a finished product (note that I did not say publishable product, but many NaNoWriMo novels have been published.)    To me, it’s no different from the person who paints daily but doesn’t exhibit work,  or is content to star in their kid’s puppet show rather than audition for plays.   I definitely have literary goals, but I would write even if I had no desire to share it (in fact it was years before I let anyone read my work).  For most creative people the act of doing what they love is enough.   Besides, I have a hard time believing that if NaNoWriMo didn’t exist,  the  flow of “bad” novels submitted to publishing houses and literary agents would magically cease . 

so what has nanowrimo done for me?

  • Shown me that I can set a goal and achieve it.
  • Reminded me why I love writing.
  • Inspired me to create a blog
  • Connected me with a supportive community of local writers.
  • Taught me the importance of revision.
  • Forced me to take creative risks.

If the project had caused me to achieve even one thing listed above, I would consider it a raging success.    I can’t wait to see what happens this year! 

Sponsor my novel and support The Office of Letters and Light’s NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program: 30 Days + 50,000 words = a lifetime of creativity!

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