NaNoWriMo countdown

NaNoWriMo countdown

By the time this post goes live, there will be less than twelve hours by my time zone before NaNoWriMo begins.

I’ll be honest. I’ll either blow 50k words out of the water and peg something significantly higher as I try to avoid news of all the frustrating things going on in my own neck of the woods between coronavirus denialism, shenanigans by politicians and their lawyers in an attempt to pervert the outcome of an election and disenfranchise millions, the election itself, the rise of the white supremists from their foul moldering places, trying to keep my family safe from sickness when the numbers are skyrocketing for coronavirus cases, etc.

Or, all of these distractions will prove to be too much and I’ll barely eek out 20k words.

If I were a betting man (I’m not, after losing my shirt in a casino once), I would place heavy odds on the latter of the two possibilities.

Will that stop me?

Doubtful. I’m not known for being very practical in my approach towards life.

I haven’t decided how I’m going to approach taking care of this. I’m tempted to eschew the traditional NaNoWriMo experience and include any writing I do here with my totals. I know, I know — that’s potentially cheating. That said, what I write here is as, if not more, important than seeing a novel that will likely remain unpublished to completion. It’s an outlet of a kind, whether I’m blathering about a whole lot of nothing or writing poems of questionable artistry.

And, writing is writing. That is the goal with NaNoWriMo, if you look at the fine print: to write. A novel is secondary, though it doesn’t appear to be on the face of things. A novel is an endpoint for those people who need an endpoint, but a memoir, a biography, a short story collection — they are also considered “winning” material for the purposes of NaNoWriMo. I’m electing to do these essays, write poetry, and happen to be working on something that might or might not evolve into a novel about people riding mechs and stopping the nefarious earth-raping strip-mining industrialists. And a little bit of magic, for the lack of a better term (actually, I’ll probably use galdr or dweomercræft as a better term to avoid white rabbit and fireball-tossing imagery). And nature spirits. Maybe a few werewolves too.

So, in retrospect, I might not “fail” to “win”, because I am combining my sources of writing into a total wordcount. Am I cheating? No. Gaming the system? Sure, if you want to accuse me of anything.

I’ve done this enough years that I forgot just how many. My profile says eight, but I know a few got lost in the various site updates and I couldn’t be bothered to enter my previous progress in more of my unsuccessful attempts. I’ve been writing for NaNoWriMo since about 2004 and only missed a few years. I think I’m allowed a little leeway after all these years.

To those other folks diving into the beautiful disaster known as NaNoWriMo, I send my support. If you need someone to cheer you on at the webpage, link to Michael_Raven as a buddy. Encouragement is always free and I will give it if you ask.

Originally published on

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