For those of you who don’t know, November is NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writing Month. What, you ask, in the holy hell is that? Well, it’s just as scary as it sounds — especially as I am a participant this year.

NaNoWriMo was created by a group of sadomasochists ambitious people who knew, just knew that they could write a 50,000 word novel in a month if only they sacrificed every waking second toward this endeavor. Then, they spread the punishment idea around the internet, and gullible hacks overachievers like me thought to themselves, “Hey, I am already spending every waking hour writing copy and articles and looking for enough writing and editing gigs to pay for my daily food habit, so why not squeeze in several more hours of unpaid work everyday?”

Working fourteen hours a day has never been easier!

So yeah, this is where I’ve been all month. Holed up in my office, writing a novel.

My Office

My cat’s in here somewhere. Probably gnawing on my power cord again.

I’m working more hours than I have since being a full-time grad student with two jobs, but let me tell you — I freaking love it. Though I’m tired and busy, this madness will not last forever. At least it’ll be over once I finish my manuscript, sell it for a billionty dollars and then live out the remainder of my days in Provence eating nothing but cheese and gelato, churning out a novel every few years.

Yes, I am grounded in reality. Why do you ask?

So, just for a little fun, here’s a list of things I’ve learned so far from NaNoWriMo:

  • Writing a novel is hard
  • My husband doesn’t like being ignored, even if it’s “for the sake of my art! and by extension, the world!”
  • My cat likes to sit on my lap precariously while I’m typing, grooming herself and holding on with her claws and sheer determination
  • My dog is annoying
  • There really are not enough hours in a day. I’m thinking of proposing the addition of three extra hours per day, minimum
  • Writing takes a lot of energy that must be properly fueled with gallons of herbal iced tea, many cups of Turkish coffee, and homemade almond flax bread
  • I am behind on my word count (1,667 words per day), and this is not bothering me nearly as much as I thought it might
  • On a side note, I am self-diagnosing again, which prompted me to crawl out of my hole office and make a doctor’s appointment. Vive l’assurance maladie!
  • I’m not very good at procrastinating when there’s a deadline
  • Similarly, I forgot that I’m a bit of a workaholic when it comes to doing something I love
  • Breaks every once in a while are necessary for those prone to hysteria
  • My real-life friends are gracious, as I’ve been neglecting them this month
  • Writing gets easier the more you do it

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NaNoWriMo: Crawling Out of the Hole to Say Hello — 39 Comments

  1. Lord, I love you, madam. I’ve been working on my novel since March, and it *is* hard. I just don’t have the stamina to write for food and punish myself like that at the same time. Also, I’ve been on strike from novel since November first because everyone’s word counts are driving me mad, and then piling guilt on the madness until I go into an Allie Brosh-style shame-spiral. I am finally getting back to work, reacquainting myself with my characters, whom I hate.

    You are a writing rockstar, and I admire you greatly.
    Tyler J. Yoder recently posted…Post the Hundred and Twenty-Eighth: AbsintheMy Profile

    • Hahaha. I’m finding my stamina reserves are limited as well. I am ignoring the word count contest, because I am so behind it would just make me sad-faced. Plus, I don’t have time to be neurotic (as I usually am).
      And I imagine it would be so challenging to spend so much time with people you hate! I’m rather neutral to my characters…so far…

  2. NaNo can be hard going. I think it suits some people and not others. I do large chunks of writing without censoring anyway, so NaNo “should” suit me, and I have completed it a couple of times. I started it this time, but instead of motivating me it was demotivating: my novel was going nowhere. So I stopped, reassessed and I’ve carried on writing, but at a slower pace. If I have a really good day at it, I might yet finish since the first time I did it I only started on the 19th, and ended up writing almost 10,000 words the last day. (Doing NaNo did inspire me to write several blog posts though!)

    Whether you reach the 50,000 or not really doesn’t matter, you will have something started that you can work with.
    Yvonne recently posted…Listen to The Voice WithinMy Profile

    • I think there’s nothing wrong with a slower pace, which I’ve adopted. Some days I just don’t write more than a couple hundred words, and that’s okay. I’m trying, and taking advantage of all the writerly activities going on locally.

  3. I wish I could be as dedicated as you are.I simply cannot sacrifice my sleep.I am impressed by your workaholiism,is this even a word I don’t know.Interacting by writing comments is slowly making me realize how good you are.I have trouble writing NaBloPoMo daily.
    I translate Tagore’s poems and convinced myself this is writing too.Tagore wrote it in Bengali,I am translating in English,just to make sure every one knows what a great poet we had,and how much thought I am putting into it.
    Before my gibberish begins to annoy you,I’d say ‘happy novel writing dear blogger,may you be very successful’.

  4. Love the sarcastic words you crossed out but left in this post. Excellent. On another note…NaBloPoMo is leaving enough things in my life neglected and forsaken. I cannot imagine venturing into NaNoWriMo. Good for you!!
    C.C. recently posted…A Widow’s SolaceMy Profile

  5. I’m feeling EXTREMELY guilty about how much time I’m spending online these days. Hubby just came downstairs to inform me that he up there cleaning *MY* art room and office. hello guilt trip!! I loved your pic and very humorous captions. I like that you’ve left a broken mirror on your desk, it’s like you’re challenging, on a daily basis, an absurd superstition.
    Calamity Rae recently posted…*This* is why I’m Starting My Memoir Next YearMy Profile

  6. I have only committed to writing one blog post per day for the month of November, and it is brutal. A whole novel? Good luck! I admire your determination.

    Your picture is great! I couldn’t find the cat, either.

    I don’t usually give advice unless asked – but, I think you could use a more comfortable chair if you are sitting in it (or on it) 14 hours a day 🙂
    Robin recently posted…Saturday with My HusbandMy Profile

  7. Good for you. I did NaNoWriMo two years ago and wasn’t really happy with the results. While I did come up with like 22,000 quality words, it was mostly background info. I didn’t know where to go with the story. It’s taken two years of thinking to figure out where the story is in my 22,000 words. Deadlines can be inspiring, but inspiration is my real inspiration, if that makes any sene.
    Chris plumb recently posted…Don’t Forget to Bring the LaughsMy Profile

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