20 October 2009

Evel Me

It's that time of year again. Writing-bloggers are blogging about NaNoWriMo (here, for example), National Novel Writing Month, which I guess applies outside the US as well (I just checked -- yes, it does), in which you and a thousand other wanna-be novelists write 50,000 words from 1-30 November. That's 1666.66666... (etc) words a day for 30 days, or 2000 words a day from 1-26 November, at which point you could have a well-deserved Thanksgiving. Appealing? I'm not sure.

For some reason I can't figure out, I'm sorely tempted to try it. I think it's because it has a "quick-fix" feel -- like "30 days to better abs". It is completely unrealistic of me to think I could squeeze this in. So there's that, too -- the challenge effect. How hard can it be? Well, hard, I'm guessing. Have you ever tried to write 1666.6666 etc coherent words a day for 30 days in a row? More to the point would be how many days it would take for utter gibberish to take over.

On the other hand, it seems obvious that these days, one needs a stunt. It isn't enough to keep up the daily grind, word in and word out; oh no. It has to be special. There has to be pizzazz, a gimmick, a "wow" factor. It needs a crash helmet and Evel Knievel. I quite like being Jeannette, mild mannered meal maker and time-challenged dreanmer. But this Jeannette, in all honesty, is really dull. A person these days must be Super Jeannette, Evel Jeannette, word-wielding daredevilless who jumps over 2000 words a day for 30 days with her Intel-powered, Atom N280 processor with 1.66GHz Seashell... Whoosh! Can you feel it? Whoosh! Can you feel it? Can anybody out there feel it? Will somebody let me know?


image credit.


  1. Has anyone every written a *good* novel in NaNoWriMo? It seems to me that a "writealong" is possibly not the best way to achieve art, unless you have a Mary Shelley moment and synthesize the zeitgeist into an instant classic (that sentence doesn't work but I don't have time to sort it out). I wonder how many mediocrities end up on the slushpile as a result of this entertainment for unfocused writers. Not that I'm not tempted to try too.

  2. I meant "ever written", of course. Proof before you post.