Yesterday I was given the challenge via Twitter of talking someone into participating in the crazy madcap adventure known as National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo for short. But I don’t know if National Novel Writing Month is something a person can or should be talked into, to be honest.
Think about it.
You’re committing yourself to, in addition to all your other tasks and responsibilities in life, writing a 50,000-word manuscript in 30 days. And putting 50,000 words to page (or Word document) is no small potatoes. For some perspective on what a 50,000-word manuscript looks like, check out such classics as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Both clock in at around 50,000 words.
So Jared, it’s up to you if you want to do it. Do you want to prove to yourself you can pound out a (hopefully) semi-cohesive story in 30 days?
Honestly, I’m not even 100% sure why I decided to do it in the first place. A look back at my journal from my first foray into NaNoWriMo in 2003 reveals a complete lack of entries for the month of November. (Not surprising, considering the task I undertook. Plus I’m a sporadic with journal-writing at times.) My first entry post-NaNoWriMo reminds me I jumped into it with a fellow member of an online writing group (now, sadly, defunct). So I suppose there was some sort of ‘group mentality’ going on there.
But what has led to my coming back to it every year since then, even with the two years where I didn’t make it to the 50,000-word mark? There is no cash incentive to pull me forward. There is no anticipating the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ of friends and family as they read my manuscripts as I have yet to allow anyone I know to read more than a snippet of two of any of my surviving stories.
So again – why do it?
I wish I could give you some grand and noble reason as to why I do it and why you should do it, too. But I think this snippet from an old blog post offers at least a clue or two as to why I’m taking up this challenge for the 9th year running:
“ . . . the story ideas I have bouncing around in my head, in my heart, aren’t all necessarily stupid, pointless bits of fluff . . ."
So I guess for me, part of it is allowing myself to tell the stories I have bouncing around in my heard and heart.
(Now I just need to muster up the courage to share those stories with others. ;-) )