I am very surprised to declare that I am participating in Nanowrimo 2017

Yesterday, I was lounging about without a care in the world, browsing the internet and having a great time doing nothing productive whatsoever. My phone dinged that a new episode of Writing Excuses podcast was available: Nanowrimo 2017 Primer.

My first thought was a panic, “Nanowrimo? That means Halloween is almost over!”

My second thought, an unexpected jolt, “GOD DAMMIT, I’M GOING TO DO NANOWRIMO THIS YEAR.” I’m not kidding when I say last minute preparations.

Where this epiphany came from, I have no idea. I haven’t done Nanowrimo in years. Do I have an idea ready to go? About as much of an idea as what I’m going to answer the next person who asks me, “What do you want for dinner?”

There are three fuzzy silhouettes milling about in my brain that could become characters. I have a few guesses how these silhouettes may interact with each other, but who can say for sure? All I know for certain is that I’m going to spend the month of November shining a light on them and seeing where they go. Let’s hope they aren’t cockroaches.

If you aren’t familiar, Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month. It’s a feverish marathon from November 1st to the 30th, with the goal of writing 50,000 words – a novel length along the same lines of Catcher in the Rye.  Of course, the point isn’t to write the next Catcher in the Rye. It’s to meet a deadline. It’s to get words on the screen to brush off and work into something tangible later.

(The other perk is making big embarrassing announcements like this so you can’t just stop when it gets hard. PEOPLE ARE EXPECTING A NOVEL OUT OF YOU!)

I’ve had great success with Nanowrimo in the past, regurgitating a semblance of an idea I had. It wasn’t great, but I got it all out. The following year, I spent the month rewriting last year’s novel and came out with something a bit more cohesive. All while grumbling to myself that I should have done this in the months between.

Years have passed since, and my writing habits have both spiraled and gurgled down the toilet. I really need this kick in the butt.

So, prepared or not, I’m going to fly through November by the seat of my pants. I have no doubt that I’ll produce a pile of garbage. The best I can hope for is to emerge into December with some better writing habits.

Dear friends, have any of you considered doing a Nanowrimo? If so, what are you doing to prepare? Can we be miserable together?

If your answer to the first question was “no” – see you in December!

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