So here it is November again and I was reminded that it is also NaNoWriMo (or, for those of you not in the know, National Novel Writing Month). NaNoWriMo encourages writers to pound out 50,000 words in just 30 days. The result is (hopefully) something resembling a novel. Chris Baty, the creator of NaNoWriMo, stresses quantity over quality because the editing process after the month is over will iron out all those wrinkles. The point is to get the bones of the book down on paper and not get hung up having the perfect sentence.
I participated in this endeavour twice so far. Once I finished and once I quit half-way through the month, which caused me to pony up some money for pizza for my coworkers. I haven’t even attempted to write for NaNoWriMo in a four years but the reminder today has me thinking, “Should I try it again?”
My hesitations are just a few. First off, I work in retail and we’re going into the holiday season. It’s going to be busy at the store and I’ll be more tired than usual after my shift. Second, it actually took me eight years to finish a novel and one, I might add, that wasn’t very big (close to 90,000 words). Third, I now have full internet access at home, as well as a Wii and Netflix. Talk about distractions! Finally, I need my time to read. If I don’t read, I get rather cranky and start snapping people’s heads off (and I don’t think anyone would like that).
But on the flip side, I do work in a bookstore (yes, they still exist) and talking books can help spark creativity. And while some customers can be less than happy during the holiday season, most are really cheerful and upbeat which could keep me energized for writing after my shift. Plus, the holiday craziness doesn’t come until the end of the month. I think I could minimize some of the distractions at home with some help. So that just leaves being able to write a novel in a month, not years. Should I do it? Can I do it?
And what should I even write about?