November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it is generally known. Many of the people I know who write novels are writing novels for NaNoWriMo. I am not. I am, apparently, writing a series of short stories about a 10-year old witch.

Now, you might say that a writer writing short stories during National Novel Writing Month is a contrarian jerk, and you’d be right. If December is suddenly declared “National Short Stories About 10-Year Old Witches Writing Month” (or, NaShoStoAboTeYeaOlWitWriMo), then I will stop writing them immediately.

But, really, it’s because I know I could never do it. NaNoWriMo has been called the literary equivalent of a marathon, and for good reason (I don’t run marathons, either, though that’s mostly because the first guy who did it died and I generally shy away from doing things like that [also: who the hell was the second guy who ran a marathon {and aren’t brackets within brackets within parentheses fun?}?]). It’s tough. It’s a slog. It will break the slow and the weak.

I’m a slow reader and a slower writer. I often can’t even read a novel in a month, let alone write one. If I tried, by the end, I’d have one good chapter, two decent chapters, four awful chapters, and 15 chapters written at 11:00 pm on November 30 consisting entirely of the letter “Q” typed over and over again (it would be very metatextual. Or just lazy and terrible. It’s often hard to tell the difference between the two [actually, it’s not. It’s always lazy and terrible {unless James Joyce does it}]).

So, best of luck to all you writers out there plugging away at your NaNoWriMo novels. We who are incapable of writing a novel in a month, salute you! And keep this in mind when the going gets tough: you can do it. It’s possible. The keys to writing a novel are just good old-fashioned American persistence, determination, creativity, editing, unsettling perversion, an anti-social personality bordering on sociopathy, and a crippling addiction to booze that destroys all happiness and joy in your life.

Good luck!



Add yours →

  1. several things:

    a) damn you for distracting me from my NaNo!
    b) thank you for the good luck
    c) I think there should be a national month for something a little easier and more natural for a person to accomplish. let’s say… February is National Bowel Movement Month or FebNatBo(Mo^2).
    d) I loved your short story and want to read more. MOAR.
    e) If you ever decide to do NaNo, for the love of god don’t enter the forums. I did so yesterday (on the 3rd of November mind you) and every comment there has the author’s ‘stats’ included to the side. There was some ass-jerk who had already written 23,000 words! I figure it must be some homeless person or a 13 year-old autodidact or a 13 year-old homeless autodidact.

  2. a.) ha ha!
    b.) you’re welcome! I wanna read it when it’s done!
    c.) I will totally lobby Congress for FebNatBoMo. I think it will really help create a community for people who’ve always wanted to make a bowel movement, but never seem to find the time.
    d.) There will be another tomorrow!
    e.) A novel about a 13 year-old homeless autodidact would be great for NaNoWriMo. Or FebNatBoMo.

  3. 1. thank you for the bracket business.
    2. listicles! (which is somehow not a gross word though it seems it should be)

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