Monday, October 17, 2011


As some of you might already know, November is National Novel-Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. In this month of dismal weather and nationwide turkey-murdering, crazy people with literary aspirations across the country will allow their lives to be dominated by the pursuit of a goal which is certifiably insane: to draft an entire 50,000-word novel (about 175 pages) in the space of a single 30-day calendar month.

It's insane, yes. Absolutely. Nobody's denying that. But impossible? Not at all: Thousands of people cross that finish-line every year before 11:59:59 on November 30th. I did it myself in 2007, though I've yet to duplicate the feat. This year, things are a little more stable, my wallet is a little fuller, and I expect and intend to make it through again.

And really, there's no other way to approach it. Everyone (and I do mean everyone in the entire world) has a Great Idea for a novel, a movie script, a video game, a poetry collection, a graphic novel, or whatever floats your particular literary boat. And every one of those selfsame people knows that they are far too busy right now to even consider starting another project on the side. Better to wait until you're retired, and have all the wisdom and free time you'll need to accomplish such a Serious Literary Endeavor.

But that's never going to happen. You'll never have free time, and you're never going to feel wise enough for something so serious and weighty. You'll keep putting it off, becoming more and more afraid of screwing up your Great Idea, and it'll never get done. It'll never even get started.

So the solution is to do it now. As in, right now. Like, starting November 1st, 2011, and committing yourself to getting the first rough draft down on paper by midnight on November 30th, 2011. No backsliding, no procrastination, and no weaseling out. Just sit down at your computer, slap on your word-wranglin' boots, and join the other thousands of like-minded whackos who have similarly committed themselves to such a poorly-planned assault on the ivory tower of Serious Literature.

If such a mad assault appeals to you, you can sign up to join us at NaNoWriMo's website. It's free to sign up, and free to participate. You have nothing to loose but your own self-doubt.

Hoping to see you on the other side of the literary finish-line,
D.F.K. Wurtsmith. Esq.

P.S. If you're interested, but don't feel like signing up, then you can to check up on my progress during the month of November at Please, feel free to mock me mercilessly if I fall behind my self-imposed word-count goal.

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of word-wranglin' boots...sadly this year my boots are steel toed and all about getting real work done. Not that I'm belittling the feat of writing, but some times there are more important serving your country.