Foolish Follies and Finished Novels

It’s November 1st, have you started your novel yet?

This month dawns on a weather beaten nation high on mini candy bars and waiting (somewhat) anxiously for Election Day.  November 1st also happens to be the start day for NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month.

NaNoWriMo (let’s call it NNWM from now on, shall we?  Those intermittent caps always screw up my WPM average), is an annual writing project hosted by the Office of Letters and Light (OLL) a nonprofit organization that also supports the Young Writers Program (a teen version of NNWM) and Camp NANOWRIMO (a virtual NNWM-themed writing camp that takes place in August).

You can get all the basics over at the NNWM website, where you can sign up for the madness and finally find out whether or not you have a book inside you just waiting to get out.  Some of the requirements are daunting – including the mandate that you aim for 50,000 words by midnight (local time) on November 30th – but the site offers an vitual encyclopedia of tips, tools and support.  If you register online, you can keep track of your word count, contact other participants for advice, post excerpts for review and access online forums where other manic would-be-novelists let off steam and commiserate on this possible fool’s quest.

I’ve heard of NaNoWriMo before – usually near the end of November when everyone’s recounting their harrowing weeks trying to churn out pages and chapters – but this is the first time I feel poised and ready to meet the challenge.  And although you win a badge and a certificate if you cross the finish line, as the NNWM website says, “win or lose, you rock for even trying.”

And thus, I am laying down the gauntlet Daily Creative Writer readers.  Who amongst you is willing to follow me into this misty battlefield to slay the dragons of procrastination, those ghouls of writer’s block, and those armies of naysayers and dream-killers who think the entire endeavor is a mistake?  Let’s sharpen our pencils, adjust our office chairs, fire up our computers and charge out into the combat zone.

After all, the prize – whether it’s a true masterpiece or a disjointed collection of half-realized characters – is greater than the final project.  The true reward will only reveal itself as you progress along the path to those 50,000 words.  Well, that’s my story at least … and I’m sticking to it!

Join me, won’t you?  Let’s be fools together.

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