Knowing that I’m talking to nobody but writers here, every one of you buggers has heard about Nanowrimo, every writer’s favourite (and stressful) month. The one time when the internet and every writer you meet agree that you MUST try and declare vive la revolution against sleep and a caffeine-free life and write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I’m not exaggerating, Nanowrimo is as ubiquitous to writers as Movember is to men (well men who can grow facial hair, while I quietly weep in frustration and write erotic mustache fiction) and any guilt I would have for posting this post a week after it started is party assuaged by this chestnut of knowledge, thank you very much (and just to be a dick to anyone whose doing it, 11,739 words baby!). But more ubiquitous than writing until your fingers bleed, Nanowrimo is done by a bunch of anyones, who read a novel a day in highschool and are now working somewhere where the photocopier is their nemesis, or whose only excursion outside the house is picking up the kids from school along the way to buy groceries, people whose bucket lists include writing a novel, and Nanowrimo is their only time they won’t just talk about it but sit in front of a laptop or a notebook.
And I hope you are doing it too.
Yes, many those bucketlisters are amateurs who think they can pump off a novel in a month and dream that their story will be the surprise bestseller that will make them the next E.L. James after a whole day spent starting to write, with nary a single word on paper except their name, and writing a Nano novel means you will be one of them. But the thing is, we all dream instead of write. Me for example, the first two years that I’ve tried Nanowrimo, I just faffed about, didn’t write a single word. No outline, no planning just thought I could lay and conjure the ideas while waiting for Fallout 3 to load up. Naturally those were the years where I faffed off a lot in my writing and didn’t actually write until the mood took me which was rarely.
I didn’t write, and what writing I had was crap. But you buggers aren’t crap. You’re writers. Beginning writers, but writers who I have listened to read, read your work, and honestly there is a hell of a lot of good prose coming together every other Thursday night; the kind of writer who is genuinely interested in seeing their names in glossy font all over a cover, but with the grind of life always stealing your time.
And that’s a good enough reason to throw your hat in the ring and jump in swinging, because it will be the first organized gauntlet thrown down in front of you, looking at you in the eye and ask you: Are you serious about writing?
My usual writing count is 500 words a day. You need 1667 words daily to hit minimum. And early warning, it won’t be the next 50 Shades of Grey (okay, bad example) you spew out. Your writing will be filthy, tainted with oily rimness around your eyes as you wonder if your dreaming or still awake. Asking a friend to read your Nano writing will be akin to feeding them arsenic. It will be bad because you will need to write to your lowest standard to survive a Nanowrimo, because the only rule of writing, is shit on paper is worth more than diamonds in your head.
But it’s still the hot chocolate glow of writing 1667 words a day at the end of the day. It’s still a bunch of people who love writing who will schedule writing sessions in coffee shops and a chance to talk to other budding writers and their hopes and dreams of getting wrist cramps from signing their runaway book for gushing fans who was inspired by them.
I hope to see you there. Now if you excuse me I’m going to add to my wordcount of a character whose going to monologue about doing a Nanowrimo and extolling the virtues of it to his writing group.
By Joshua P’ng, North York Writer
p.s. for those who don’t read webcomics, there is a webcomic about Nanowrimo!
p.p.s. If any of you buggers are actually going to try, be writing buddies with me! My Nano name is: theblackmaple. If I ever became a superhero that’s the name I would be. We could meet up at one of the local events and have a word war.
p.p.p.s. personal: Due to a change in my job schedule, I won’t be able to attend meetings for the rest of the year. Though I am trying to organize writing sessions at the nearby Starbucks every Thursday after the library closes just for Nanowrimo. I’ll post with further details.