NaNoNoWriMo

It’s not a typo. It stands for National Not Novel Writing Month, which is what I’m calling the unofficial, making-up-my-own-rules way that I’m doing it.

Writing bloggers started talking about plans for NaNoWriMo, in some cases, over a month ago. I do not have a network of writer friends, although I have numerous writer friends–so I’m not sure what that disconnect is about–and very few people ever comment on my blogs, so I didn’t have anyone asking me if I was planning to participate. My answer, as it has been throughout my entire life, would have been no. NaNoWriMo is not for everyone, and it’s never really appealed to me. I thought that I’d use the month last year to feed off the collective writing energy of the world and set a goal of writing any amount every day. I wrote one day the entire month and felt terrible about myself. The experience was not encouraging to me.

The girls in my office suggested doing NaNoWriMo together, and, since I’ve felt like I needed to do something to get around the years of writer’s block that I’ve been trying to push through, it seemed like a good idea. I know that I’m not signing up on the official site or anything, and I don’t think they are either. The thought is just that we all want to get back to writing, and it’s just one opportunity to do so.

A few days later, it was brought up that 50,000 words might be too ambitious for our schedules, as we all work full time and one of us (not me) has kids. I threw out the number 30,000 instead, still substantial, but a little more manageable, and easy to count–1,000 words a day. We also decided that we don’t have to have the same word goals. We’re being very loose about the rules here. I don’t know how we’re going to exchange stuff–if we’re going to actually exchange writing, or if we are just going to report on how much writing we did. I’m sure we’ll figure that stuff out.

I don’t know what I want to write yet. I’ve been lazy and unproductive for so long now that I have numerous novel and short story ideas that I’ve overthought to the point of believing most of them aren’t worth writing. Someone else is writing something better right now. Nothing I write could possibly be important.

Even if those things are true, it doesn’t really matter. If I don’t produce anything I would ever want to show to other human eyes, but I can feel that great feeling I used to have when I wrote, that will be enough of a reason to write.

I was thinking that I might start writing my fairy tale book. This will be a collection of fairy/folk tales NOT based on old stories (at least not in an obvious way). I’m sure they will have elements of traditional tales, but they will not be the same stories, or reimaginings of them, as I would usually do. The world has changed so much that sometimes the old stories can’t address concepts that we deal with now. We need folk tales of our own age, and I have a few in mind already. The question is always whether I have enough ideas to really turn it into something… or maybe that isn’t the question. Maybe the ideas I have are enough to get me going, and more will come as I go on.

Maybe I should join a writing group. I’ve never had one. I’ve always done it all on my own. And that’s gotten me nowhere, so… maybe.

Word of the day: Maybe.

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8 thoughts on “NaNoNoWriMo

  1. Hey there … I found this by googling “NaNoNoWriMo” to see what other people had done with the concept, since I also-had-the-same-idea the other day. I’m interested in starting a website/project/community/whatever that’s called that, and that’s for people doing … well, not-novels. Blogs, perhaps articles, research papers, business plans, all the other kinds of writing people engage in and might want to motivate themselves to do.

    It would require a fair amount of flexibility, though I’m still thinking of having at least the mainstream idea of it still do the “50,000 words” thing. Maybe. The point is, would you be interested in getting in touch and brainstorming about it? ‘Cos I think this would be fun. Let me know!

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  3. I would be so interested to know more about your book of fairy tales. It sounds like such an interesting project, so if you’re interested in writing group of a virtual nature, let me know! I write mostly children’s fiction and academic essays, but I would be excited to read a modern take on the folk tale.

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  6. Modern day fairy tales is an excellent idea and much needed. I was going to do a unit with my students last year of fairy tales where we would have discussed some traditional themes, and the students would have developed their own told as digital stores on video. The problem was I couldn’t get permission from my administration to allow them to film or post them online. I’m glad someone else sees the need for modern fairy tales. Most of today’s fantasy stories and fairy tales are built into video game play, and much of it lacks the thrill of the original form. In a fantasy story, when the heroine goes off task for completing her quest, then the story takes an interesting side road. In video games, that magical aspect of the genre goes away, and the character suffers failure and restarts. If we are going to use video games as our new texts for quests and fantasy, then video game designers have to master the form…or we should just go back to writing more traditional stories. I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with if you go that route.

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