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NaNoWriMo: Let the Pain Begin

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In about a month, I am going to be a total and utter wreck.

You see, last year, I participated in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. I also participated in National Nacho Book Boom, or NaNaBooBoo for short last year, but that one made no sense as I was plastered with tortilla chips, ink, and explosive powder by the end of that month. I'm still unclear as to what you do for it.

Anyway, in roughly one month, perfectly normal and sane writers are going to try to slam out roughly a billion words towards a novel they've never written anything on before and act like it's totally fine. It is not fine. It is a highly nerve-wracking event wherein a writer has to come up with awesome original content on a continual basis daily and produce the world's greatest novel known to humankind ever written. The pressure can be intense.

I participated last year, as I said, but I was unable to produce a novel worth reading or a novel at all, actually. I worked diligently for about a week by producing what I felt was the best writing ever in the history of everything. Then one day I had writer's block. No, wait, I didn't have writer's block. It wasn't like that at all. It was sort of like cruising along a beautiful road in the middle of a sunny meadow with a delicious drink in hand and then DAMN IT I just spilled the drink all over the dashboard! Where are the damn napkins? I can't believe I didn't get any with my stupid drink. Son of a--oh, here's a Kleenex. Okay, let me AHHH WHERE IS THE ROAD AND WHERE DID THIS CLIFF COME FROM AHHHHHH!

So it wasn't so much writer's block as it was the utter annihilation and death of a writer. I basically drank enough caffeine to destroy my kidneys and then got pissed when I couldn't think of anything to write so I scrapped the whole thing. I also seem to remember flipping my computer off. It isn't as satisfying as you might think.

This year, I'm going to stay more realistic. Rather than expecting to write a perfect awesome novel, I'm going to just write!

And it is going to be the best novel ever written and it shall move you to laughter and tears and be adapted into a movie and earn me billions. Or I will jump off a damn cliff.

Join me this year, if you must. I'm clintosterholz so feel free to friend me.

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9 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo: Let the Pain Begin”

  1. It’s been a few years since I attempted NaNoWriMo. I’m going to attempt it again this year, and hope I don’t lose my mind again. My username on the site is chrishamilton

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  2. Clint:
    That sounds like my first year of NaNoWriMo…it’s normal (if you can call WriMo writers normal). This year will be better. You have the right approach – lower your expectations. It’s just about getting words on paper and seeing where the story takes YOU, not where you take the story. Then you have 11 months to revise and edit (if you want to have a real novel).
    I was able to get the word count my 2nd year (last year).
    Have fun! And remember to put the lid on the drink 😉
    Ciao

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  3. I think it sounds great! Actually, I hate that feeling of being under pressure to write something outstanding. I think you should just go with Plan A and just write to write. Forget about the whole jumping off a cliff thing.

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  4. I do have to be up front and admit that I’m not a supporter of the NaNoWriMo concept. That said, I can’t begrudge anyone who decides to give it a go, and I wish you all the best — especially you Clint. I’m sure whatever you come up with will be hilarious as always. Do let us know how it goes for you!

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  5. I am trying to stay cool but the thing is I already live in chaos and when November comes I will everything go–the house, laundry, hygiene, (yes, even that), library books won’t get returned, bills won’t get paid, etc. But things are already like that just from my regular freelancing and setting up a writing business activities. So it’s hard to imagine how dark and funky this cave will get when I officially let everything go.

    So far I have a microcosm of an idea’s shadow for the next novel. I just won’t quit though. I persevere. Ever onward. 50,000 words here I come in my filthy rag clothing sliding around on the garbage on my floors.

    Maryellen Grady

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