To WriMo or not to WriMo — that is the question

©2021 Michael Raven

November is sneaking up on us in Minnesota. We’ve still not had a proper autumn, as temps are running 10-20°F warmer than normal. Aside from the change in the color of leaves, it didn’t feel like a real autumn yet. So I haven’t thought much about NaNoWriMo until now.

I’ve basically made some attempt every year to participate in the “write a novel in a month” challenge since 2004 or so. The last few attempts were pitiful in large part because of external forces causing my enthusiasm to flag by about a third of the way through. Last year was tensions about the election results. Mostly anyway. Other years, overdemanding extended family.

And so I debate once again if it is a wise undertaking to pursue writing a 50k novel in 30 days…

Considering my track record of about 3 in 17 for success rates, one would think I might say screw it and give up on the idea — none of the “successes” were anything I would even consider remotely publishing, even with heavy editing. Indeed, I think last year that’s exactly what I did when I failed so miserably (I think I hit something on the order of 11k words (?)) — I declared I was not a novelist in any way, shape, or form. I declared to the whomever would listen that I would be now and forevermore strictly a short-form writer.

And yet, I am starting to get twitchy at the idea of digging back into writing a novel and something about the changing hues of the landscape make me wistful about the concept. Maybe it’s because I’m a silly and absurd man. Maybe it’s because I started getting ideas that built off of Wallcloud. Maybe I’m avoiding real life and the reality that I probably shouldn’t try to write longer fiction.

Or maybe I still cling to that idea that if I talk about it someone, somewhere will look at themselves in the mirror and say to themselves, “If the Michael Raven joker thinks he’s good enough to write a novel, then I sure as hell can write one and do it better.” Maybe, just maybe, someone will take it as a personal challenge to outshine me and write something I only wish I could write. I would consider 5k words an overwhelming success if they came and told me that I actually made them write something so awesome that it changed their world and got them published. I’m okay living vicariously through someone else’s success.

While I always enjoy writing and am grateful for other people liking what I write… I’m more pleased by the idea that I got someone else to write and, just maybe, have them discover success.

So I’ll probably do it again this year. And drop out part-way through. Or finish and never publish it. I’m not sure what will happen. But I guess the answer to my question is: yeah, I think I’ll be stupid and write another NaNoWriMo disaster. I will probably WriMo.

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