Nah. No! Write? Right.

Ever sit down and force yourself to write? Something, anything to fill in the space, rack up the word count, give you something to plunk in under the featured photo, get in under the wire on that deadline, or revise, edit, and otherwise beat the crap out of in the hopes of coming out with a publishable novel?

Yeah, that last bit wasn’t specific at all….

Chances are, if you write, heck, if you’ve ever written (and yes, tenth-grade papers on Romeo and Juliet with titles like “Love, or Being Moronic Teenagers?” absolutely count) you’ve probably had to force yourself to write. As with any other creative process, as much as writing can be the most rewarding way to use my time, sometimes it just doesn’t want to work. It’s a slog, a pain in the tucchus, and every word feels like I’m ripping my fingernails out with pliers rather than typing.

For the fifth year running (my current record is one success, two full-effort failures, and one November 2nd realization that it just wasn’t on) I’m participating in the greatest celebration of “forcing-yourself-to-just-write-the-damn-thing” I’ve ever experienced, National Novel Writing Month.

Now if you’ve clicked that lovely link, you’ve already seen the website and might already know something about NaNoWriMo. If you’re as crazy or stupid as I am you might have given it a whirl before, and you might already know how it works. For everybody else, the short story is that I’m going to try to write a novel in November.

Not, I’m going to start writing a novel in November. Not, I’m going to actually have a novel to show for years of intensive and laborious writing, editing, and attempts to publish. I’m gonna write the whole thing in November.

That’s right, a 50,000 word minimum-length novel in 30 days. A completed first-draft manuscript of a story that doesn’t exist yet (though if you believe Matt Haig, there’s no such thing as a story that doesn’t exist yet) will be on my desktop at 12:01 a.m., December 1st, 2012.

Writing novels, like lots of awesome things, is a pretty polarizing topic in terms of difficulty. On the one hand, you’ve got the folks who’ll say “Pfft, yeah, I could do that if I wanted to work in my pajamas that badly.” on the other hand, you’ve got the ones who’ll say “Oh. Em. Gee. How can you do that?” Both these groups of people, generally speaking, have never actually tried to write a novel. Most who have tend to nod knowingly and occasionally offer an alcoholic beverage or three.

So this is an extremely long-winded way of saying you probably shouldn’t expect much coherence out of me this November. I’ll already be writing an average of 1666 words a day, so the blog posts may consist mostly of word counts, sleep-deprived ramblings, and pleading for more coffee.

On the off chance that rather than sheer terror, something I’ve said has inspired you to grab your own little piece of crazy pie this fall, (or if you’re any sort of writer) feel free to share your novel plans, whinge about escaping plot bunnies, or plot your characters’ deaths in the comments section.

After all, self-inflicted crazy loves company.


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