Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

For now

To answer a philosophical question about intent once and for all is inhibiting.

I have blogged for a variety of reasons on a variety of topics. Sometimes to vent. Sometimes to explore an idea. Sometimes to share something I think is cool.

For now I am working on a series of posts that narrate some of my experiences. Mostly ignoring the daily post prompts and challenges from which I usually draw inspiration.

However, this prompt made me think about something I noticed recently: November, for writers, seems to be “weird acronyms that look like chemical formulas month”: NaNoWriMo, NaBloPoMo (not sure what sodium has to do with writing). The premise of these seems to be to do something everyday during the month of November. Do they not realize that the holiday season has started? That many of us have to find and prepare that special turkey, plus all the rest of the trimmings, get packages ready to mail, decorate, deal with family drama…When I read about these challenges it seems like they must be dreamed up by kids (adults can be kids too) who have family elders who will deal with the responsibilities while they take a month off to pursue their dream of being the next J.K. Rowling.

And yet there is a lot to be said for a program that emphasizes the benefits of steadily working toward a goal. To achieve the goals is impressive, requiring self-discipline and other skills that are rarely spotlighted in our microwave-ready-in-a-minute-or-less culture.

When I was a kid I loved reading and wanted to be a writer. So when NaNoWriMo penetrated my consciousness, probably through someone’s blog, I read up on it a bit. I had a problem with the “no plot, no problem” hype, but, as I looked deeper, I saw that it was, mostly, just hype. A lot of the material was about preparing for that month of intense writing. Done properly, it really looks a lot like a regular writing course with an emphasis on the need to sit one’s bum in the chair and write everyday, but it is also way more than one month long.

Am I in? No. My experience blogging tells me that I can’t write 1667 words in a day. Just as I simply can’t do a pull up. Even the idea of blogging everyday (there are several folks who do this routinely without a special month-I really admire their ability to come up with ideas) is more than I can really handle.

So, for now, I am plodding along with a more modest goal: to practice my narrative writing skills by trying to tell about my recent trip to China. My goal is to write some everyday, but I am not going to commit to that goal. These narratives are longer than what I usually write. I think I need to work on narrative of what I have experienced before I tackle fiction, if I ever do. Maybe, someday, I will be ready to but I know it won’t be

  • started during the holidays
  • 1667 words a day
  • everyday of the week

Maybe some of us can band together for a SloMoWriCh (Slow Motion Writing Challenge) someday. Until then good luck to all, the ambitious everyday-ers and those of us who are a little more modest and changeable in our goals.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Million-Dollar Question.”