Thursday, November 5, 2009

Around Town: NaNoWriMo

Here’s a fun thing to do in the 91011. Am I the only one? Last week I signed up for the National Write a Novel in a Month project, also known as NaNoWriMo.

Here’s how it works: About 200,000 people signed up online at We began writing a little after midnight on Nov. 1. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel by midnight, Nov. 30.

The best part is this: no self-editing. All revisions are to be done in the month of December. Our task in November is simply to write.

This reminds me of the time I golfed pretty well. It was two weeks ago in the Huntington Medical Research Institute’s Lynn Smith Tournament. I played well because our all-women’s foursome was totally uncritical.

Well, there was this one moment when my partner, after I hit a particularly rotten shot, called me a hemorrhoid. No one had ever called me a hemorrhoid before. (She was joking.) The four of us didn’t stop laughing for the next two hours. And then, suddenly, I made up for it with a chipped-in birdie putt.

Whatever that means. I’m still not sure what happened.

What does this have to do with writing? What I mean to say is this: Some of us do our best in the absence of obsessive self-criticism.

Back to NaNoWriMo, there’s lots of time to do this if you give up Facebook and the laundry. And there’s no writer’s block at NaNoWriMo because no one cares where the damn hyphen goes, but that’s just my opinion.

NaNoWriMo was started by a group of Bay Area freelancers, Chris Baty and 20 of his friends, in 1999. That first year there were 21 participants. Six of them completed the task. Each year, the program grew. In 2008, 119,301 writers signed up from all over the world. By the end of the month, 21,683 of them completed 50,000-word-novels by the deadline.

Well, here goes.

Laptop computer? Check!

Delete Spell Check? Check!

Hyphens? Only as needed!

I’m not sure of the title. I’m not sure about Thanksgiving. Thankfully, there’s only one more week of “Mad Men” and “Dexter” before the season finales. I am glad to give up the laundry.

By the time you read this, I will be at 10,002 words.

:: Print Version :: November 5, 2009


Published Published: Thursday, November 5, 2009 4:13 AM PST
Around Town:
By Anita Susan Brenner

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