At Long Last

I discovered NaNoWriMo in 2007 and jumped right in, then immediately jumped right out. I hovered somewhere around 17,000 words written before I realized I didn't know what the hell I was doing. Sure, I was writing a screenplay and revising several pieces at that time, but NaNoWriMo is a cold, deaf master. It is about discipline, not excuses.

I tried again once every year after that. I failed around 16,000 in 2008 because of PCN preparations. I died around 20,000 in 2009 because I started my new job that month. I decided that this year, at long last, was going to be different. I was motivated to not be shamed for a 4th year in a row, and to prove to my inner critic that I could do it. Except I started my internship that month, so that wasn't conducive to a good writing schedule.

But again: it's about discipline, not excuses. There will never be a good time to sit down and write 1,600 words a day. Something will always come up, and it will feel like an incredible hurdle. So, just past midnight of Halloween night, I put my fingers to typing something incredibly depressing and ridiculous. I won't say what the story is about; It is pretty shamelessly over the top in its darkness and negativity. I will say that it had a lot of legs, but it was so horrible that I couldn't help but laugh when all the datums in my head plugged together and came up with that harrowing spark. It is one thing to come up with an idea. It is another to come up with an idea that makes you laugh because, really, your brain can't be serious.

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I Just Failed My Novel

I haven't written anything this month because I was busy. There was so much writing to do this month. There's my short story for my workshop, which I ended up revising and sending in to a magazine as a manuscript, and the first 30 pages of a screenplay for another class. Then there was my novel. My NaNoWriMo novel.

NaNoWriMo is the odd abbreviation for National Novel Writing Month. It is, essentially, a marathon for writers. You have 30 days to write a novel. Go. Some people liken it to a religious experience for writers. There is no real, tangible prize or any recognition. There is just a community. This is for writers and their own benefit. So, how are you supposed to write a novel in 30 days? How could you expect quality to come from such a rush job?

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