November is National Novel Writing Month

This year I plan to participate in the National Novel Writing Month, or “NaNoWriMo.” The event starts on November 1 at 12:00 am (or 00:00 if you prefer).  Over the next 30 days, the goal is to write 50,000 words.  If a writer manages to achieve this word count, then he or she “wins.”

Now, for those of you who are thinking, “I would kill my own mother to win NaNoWriMo,” make sure you read the fine print.  It’s actually a contest with yourself, a battle against your own inertia.  Can you keep your ambition going and your fingers moving?  To win, you need to type a minimum of 1667 words per day on average.  And if those happen to be well-written words, all the better.

That, I think, is the real challenge: writing with even a modicum of quality for such an extended period of time.  In theory, the following sentence would be an acceptable part of a “winning” NaNoWriMo entry:

Leoius saerilji aoale jojeojeu bamseuo—eqoiups saolesu epoku!

Or if you’re after some serious word count:

A A A A A A A A A A A A A !

But a writer, even a sloppy writer, would probably not be happy with this sort of output. I hope to reach the 50,000-mark, and to do that, I’ll need to be content with a certain amount of systemic shoddiness.  Nevertheless, I hope to produce something with at least a little literary virtue.

If you’re up for the challenge, I encourage you to join me in NaNoWriMo.  Registering is free, and can be done here.  Remember, even if you find it challenging, it will all be over in 30 days.  Think of it as an form of insurance against becoming James Joyce, who took 17 years to finish his final book, Finnegans Wake.  You don’t want to do that.


About jackfrey
Jack Frey lives somewhere in Northeast Asia with his wife and two young boys. He finds the letter K to be the most aesthetically pleasing of all the consonants, in both its upper and lowercase forms. Like many of us, he is currently seeking publication of his first novel.

5 Responses to November is National Novel Writing Month

  1. jaynedoe says:

    I am joining Nanowrimo for the first time this year. I hope to produce something a tad above AAAAAA — haha. It will be interesting to see in December just exactly what did pop out of my head and onto the keyboard. Best wishes to you!

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