November is National Novel Writing Month. I don’t know why or who decided November was to be the time for wanna-be’s and professional writers to devote every waking (and even sleeping) hour to writing a novel; an informal research (i.e., done by Google—not a librarian) indicates that in 1999 a group of 21 writers in the San Francisco area started NaNoWriMo with the goal of writing 50,000 words of a novel during the month of November. A crazy idea that now has approximately 200,000+ world-wide authors and authors-to-be, including your Library Blog Mistress, attempting to somehow squeeze out 50,000 words that hopefully will one day become the “All American Best Novel.” We can all dream, can’t we? Lol
In all seriousness and trust me, these writers are serious, few deceive themselves that their 50,000 words will prove to be publishable or even readable fiction by December 1st. But there’s where the genius is within the madness. If the writer is to accomplish 50,000 words in the span of one month, especially one that has a major holiday in it, there ain’t no time for editing our work. That means the little loud-mouth internal critic that we all have can’t stop us by saying, “Wait, that word is misspelled!” or “Stop, that sentence is incomplete!” or “Whatever made you think YOU could write?”
It’s the doubt, self-criticism and fear of failure that stops a lot of us from reaching our goals, I think. At least for me, it is. There’s a quote that I have taped to my computer screen. PERFECT is the greatest enemy of GOOD. (I don’t remember who said it so you will have check with your librarian to find out if you are interested.) Writing 50,000 words won’t produce a literary novel for most of us; it will, however, give most of us a chance to plant the seed for a possible novel. After December 1st, then the real work can begin. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. And oh yes, lots of trips to the library to research the various ways a _______ can work. (Hey, I’m not giving my plot line away!)
It’s not too late to start if you are a writer or have ever wanted to try your hand at it. This is only Day 3 and you’re only approximately 3,000 words behind. If you are interested, the website with the history and rules for the annual marathon writing race is: www.nanowrimo.org.
Happy writing and reading from your Library Blog Mistress!