[Storyteller’s Howl] NaNoWriNO

Monday, November 21, 2016
mpclemens_nanotypwriter

You may have noticed at this point that I haven’t spoken out on the US Election. There’s a reason for that – first of all, the last two weeks of blog posts were written in October before it happened. Second of all – this is a spiritual and personal blog, not a politics blog. I also don’t publicize things like my GoFundMe campaign and medical situation on this forum and that was a very deliberate choice.

That being said, today I want to talk about another kind of disillusionment – the reason I haven’t participated in NaNoWriMo since 2011.

I participated in National Novel Writing Month – a personal challenge wherein a person is to write a 50,000 word novel within the 30 days of November – from 2008 through 2011. Of all those attempts, I only “won” (that is to say, reached the 50k word goal) once, in 2009. That book is the book I’m currently editing over on Patreon – and you can read it for as little as $1 a month, and get your name in the dedication for just $5 a month!

However, for that one win, every other attempt I made failed. Both in 2008 and 2010, I attempted to RE-write the first novel-length book I ever wrote. I didn’t end up with much more than some in depth character studies, either time. Mostly because I’ve probably moved beyond that particular book in my life. Though I still want to do it justice some day, and republish it under my true name.

In 2011, I tried to write a World Of Warcraft themed fanfiction chronicling the history of my then Draenai Hunter, Destylae (Dess-ta-lay). But I just couldn’t get into the story, and by the second week of the month I’d fallen so far behind on my word count that I had no hope of catching up. So, I stopped. 

Every year since, I’ve tried to come up with an idea – something that grabbed me as tightly as To The Third Power did in 2009. But I haven’t been successful. And even if I could come up with a concept, these days I have far too much other work on my plate to have the time to write that much every day. I watch my friends participate, and I happily cheer them on – but it would appear that for now I am no longer a NaNoWriMo participant. 

I fully support those of you who spend your time at Write-Ins and enjoy the ins and outs of this national surge of creativity, but I don’t count myself among you any longer. Some day I hope to have the wherewithal and stability of life to get back into this kind of thing. But for now, I don’t.

However, when I do get back to NaNo, I have started to gather a few ideas. I suppose I could count myself a “NaNo Rebel” – a person who writes 50k words in the month but NOT on a novel. This can mean personal blog posts, papers for school, or even – such as in the case of my best friend, Nyx – a TV or movie script (though there’s a conversion rate involved as scripts don’t work out to nearly as many words as a novel does). That being said, if I count my blog posts and the writing I do for Patreon…I’m actually right about where I should be by this time in the month.

So maybe I am doing NaNo, just not the traditional way. Shout out to all other NaNo Rebels out there. You can do it!

Have you ever attempted NaNoWriMo? Was it harder than you thought? Easier? If you’ve never tried, would you consider it? Why or why not? Let me know all about it in the comments!