Monday, October 26, 2009

On Mayhem: November

If I make it to December I will be one accomplished, and exhausted, young woman.

Here's a list of items I have to do next month (or, if you want to be picky about it, in less than a week):

1. National Novel Writing Month which, to quote the site: "is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

In 2008, we had over 119,000 participants. More than 21,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

Yeah. A novel. In a month. Got it. Moving on...

2. An online writing workshop for the entire month with Jordan Rosenfeld entitled Fiction's Magic Ingredient. Hopefully I can incorporate this work with the NaNoWriMo work and get double the pleasure, double the fun. Or double the insomnia and stress. As I tell The Dude: You choose!

3. Compile articles and information, edit, produce and publish The Tennessee Writer, the quarterly online newsletter for the Tennessee Writers Alliance. I am so stoked about this one. It's my first one published entirely by myself, and I cannot wait to get down to business with it. It's due to go online on December 1.

4. An Arts and Entertainment article for Wilson Living Magazine, due at the end of November. Digging the focus of this one, which you'll just have to wait and read when the December/January edition comes out!

5. Work. (Remember that, Tomi?) The Chronicle gets my number one focus, of course, and I'm working to make it ever better, week by week.

So, although I'll be slammed from every direction - I also have a wedding the weekend of November 7 in Ohio and there's always the Thanksgiving holiday tucked in there - I haven't felt this alive in a while.

It feels like life is taking off and looking up - and like 31 is going to be hell of a ride for me.


  1. Are you going to any of the NaNo write ins? We should carpool (AKA you drive because I'm Nashville challenged, and I'll provide swell companionship!).

    Your November sounds fun. I've got to kick up my writing!

  2. 6. The Dude.

    I'm sure he'll just sit back and let Mommy have all the fun.

  3. Amber: I'm not sure yet - but I want to. I would love for us to carpool and hit some of them. I'm working with a group of writers on Facebook online as well - we're going to agree on meeting times to open our Skype chats and write together, check in each hour, late at night. Should be fun.

    PJ - do you want to join us? Email Alegra - she's pretty much spearheading this (of course). Please join.