The Sunday Salon: NaNoWriMo


During the night, I was watching Night of the Living Dead while bouncing my beloved laptop, Demora Pasha, on my knee. I glanced at the clock to find that it was midnight.

I fled the scene to join three other girls to write into the wee hours of the night. There was plenty of Wikipedia abuse and some chatting, mostly about how I couldn’t believe YouTube was founded only four years ago and bits and pieces of naming. By the time I crawled into bed, I had completed my very first of thirty legs of NaNoWriMo.

If you’re not familiar with the concept, National Novel Writing Month (lovingly referred to as NaNoWriMo) is a writing challenge where the participants must write 50,000 words in the month of November. This averages to about 1,667 words a day. Users sign up on the website, where they can update their progress and, most importantly, go on the forums to talk with everyone else who decided to do such a crazy thing.

Ever since I was but a wee lass, I’ve wanted to be a writer. While my desire to be an editor is no less passionate, it certainly hasn’t left a trail of concepts, research, and notes in its wake. I am of the belief that only you can decide whether you are or are not a writer. I’m a writer because I write constantly. But I can’t call myself a novelist until I at least have one completed, no?

There’s also the need to have a first draft to work with to actually write a novel. I think many young writers are scared, because they want to start out perfectly. My favorite phrase for a first draft is “vomit on the page”. Just get it out, and worry about editing later. You need the raw clay to be able to make a sculpture. I say all of this as if I know what I’m talking about, but they’re little bon mots I find useful and inspiring in writing, and that I know I will rely on in the coming month.

This isn’t to say I won’t be reading and reviewing during this month–I will. The Nine is due the Monday after next, and I want to wash out the taste of The Resurrectionist with Joyce Carol Oates’ We Were the Mulvaneys.

This will probably be the last I speak of NaNoWriMo on this blog, unless anyone objects. If you want to keep up with my progress, here’s my NaNoWriMo profile.

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