How NaNoWriMo is like a Pitocin Drip

Tomorrow – the madness will begin. If you’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. I heard a statistic years ago (and I don’t feel well so I’m not going to go hunt it down or anything), that 85% of all people “want to write a novel”. (I think this statistic is true because invariably if I mention that I’m an author, someone will say “Oh really!? I’ve been writing a book!! Could you introduce me to your agent..publisher..etc.” – yeah, that’s a post for another day.)

Anyhow – while NaNoWriMo is designed for everyone to finally write that book they’ve been dreaming of, many of my author friends use NaNoWriMo just like I do – for a virtual kick in the pants. A self-imposed deadline. A mass hysteria kind of frenzy writing that can turn those Blank Pages into Pages With Words On Them. They might be good words. They might be dreck. But at least they are words on the page. And as any writer knows, that’s half the battle!

So I’m throwing my pen (computer?) into the ring and will attempt to write a minimum of 1,667 words every single day during the month of November.

This would be a less-daunting feat if I weren’t directing a youth musical right now…that happens to open during November. This will be a problem because my brain is non-functional for several days as we rehearse. Which means I will need to up my word count on the days where we are not rehearsing. And this reveals why I technically “fail” at this challenge every. single. year.

I have never “won” NaNoWriMo for this very reason. Tech week hits (you theater geeks will know exactly how tramautic those two words are) and no more words go on the page. It’s been like this every year I have particpated.

So why do I keep doing it?? Glutton for punishment? (maybe.) Love a challenge? (maybe.) Love being a part of something extreme and crazy that pushes me out of my writerly isolation? (yeah. that.)

So I know I won’t “win” and I’m perfectly okay with that. Because at the end of the craziness, I will have words on the page and it will be more fun putting those words there when I know so many others are out there putting words on the page too. I might not hit the finish line, but the book will be well underway and far enough along that it will be impossible to not finish it up.

NaNo is like my pitocin drip to get this next baby (book) birthed. The pitocin gets things kick started but at some point the baby must come out.

Bring. It. On.


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