30 Days and 30 Nights of Literary Abandon


National Novel Writing Month

Contributing author Lisa Cron and the good folks over at Writer Unboxed reminded me that November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, in case you’ve seen the acronym flitting around the pages of late. I’m not going to bother writing an article about it since Lisa did such a fantastic and thorough job over there, covering the pitfalls to avoid if participating. The premise is easy: Write a novel in a month. 1667 words a day. Pretty basic, don’t you think? Mary Shelley did it in a weekend.

But oh, if it were only as simple as the tagline flippantly suggests. I’m no Mary Shelley.

Currently under construction in my Workshop of Wonders are several longer projects that tap into my more classical literary passions, however, there is also the beginning of a chapter expanded from a lighter short short, which I think I’ll throw into the NaNoWriMo ring this year. I’ve already laid out the structure of the story and it has a decent skeleton, so this venture will hold me accountable, not that I expect the NaNoWriMo Gestapo at my door if, come the first of December my book isn’t done. Of course it will only be a crappy first draft, I don’t expect anything different, but the point is to write a novel, start to finish, cover to cover in a month. Thirty days and nights of literary abandon.

So today I’m making that commitment to “Git ‘er dun.”

If you go to the National Novel Writing Month website, you can sign up with me. Check out Lisa’s article, the website, then decide if it’s for you. Together we can write our novels, track our progress, get pep talks and support, and meet fellow writers – or at least that’s what the organization promises. I’ll be posting my progress as the book takes shape and the ups and downs of the whole NaNoWriMo experience. My concept, a Young Adult adventure, has good bones and wants desperately to come to life.

I’ve just got to get my ass in gear and do it. Are you with me?


ML Swift


7 thoughts on “30 Days and 30 Nights of Literary Abandon

  1. This kind of challenge feels like a straight jacket to me, although I get that it's motivating for folks. Keep us posted on your progress!

  2. It's like that one suggestion that I like to follow, "Write at least 100 words a day," except about ten times that amount. It's more of a commitment I'm making to myself to bring this character to life, hoping that the structure and discipline it entails will spark the fires of creative combustion! I'll definitely keep you abreast of my journey.

  3. Yeah, I like the goldfish, too. Darn, another good blog to check out when I should be furiously writing stuff.Wrong post, but I secretly (but not very) agree with the spelling thing. Continuous blatant mistakes annoy the hell out of me. I saw a t-shirt recently that said 'Bad Spellers Untie.' I confess I snickered a little.Are you a WD prompt poster? What name do you use? If it's Chris Michaels, what stories did you post (I often remember the stories before the names)?Good luck with the DyNaMo (I was never very good with acronyms). I might give it a go. I'm one of those nerdy people who like structure and timelines and other blah-de-blah terms you hear in management meetings.We'll chat again soon, I'm sure.

  4. Thanks for stopping in, Eureka! I think your blog is great…intelligent, informative, well-written, and fun, too! I've been reading the past few week's worth of posts.Yes, I'm a prompt poster, and just as much a stickler about blatant mistakes over there, too, although I appreciate anyone's zeal for the craft and try to encourage and help as best as I can. But I'm not a yes man. I'm Ishmael. I've really enjoyed some of your past pieces, and think I've commented to that effect. :o) You and many others over there have some real talent.Chris Michaels is actually a pseudonym for this blog, and not my actual author name. I plan on getting a little personal about family trials, caring for a mother with Alzheimer's, and feel it's best to approach this as if I were writing a memoir. At least for the time being. It's also why I haven't connected this with my name at WD. Don't know how much ME I want known. You know? It's a balancing act.I'm a cool nerd, too. Thanks for the well wishes.

  5. Darn, I just managed to delete an awesome response. I hate that.Basically, it said: I like Ishmael's gutsy comments on WD, and I totally get the pseudonym thing, even when I can barely spell it.Write on, (but try not to accidentally delete what you write – it's annoying).


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