Today is November 1st, the start of National Novel Writing Month (better known as NaNoWriMo). Basically you force yourself to write a novel in a month – completely ignoring quality as you push toward the prescribed word count.

Some people at Emerson put a group together to help each other finish, by hosting writing days and generally being as encouraging as possible, and I got invited. And while I didn’t decline, necessarily, I can’t see myself writing a novel anytime soon. I have a few problems:

  • When I write I’m constantly reading over what I’ve previously written to be sure a. it doesn’t suck and b. my voice is consistent with itself. While this has worked well for short stories, this would be fatal in trying to write an entire novel in a month.
  • I have no novel ideas. Haha. Seriously, though, it seems as if I’ve trained my brain to think in short-story mode; it’s a chore for me to write something above 8,000 words. I can’t even imagine writing a novella in the near future (although I LOVE reading them and wish there were more of them around to read).
  • When I write fiction I usually listen to one song on repeat when I’m writing that particular story – for example: “Jumping Rooftops,” which will be at Necessary Fiction in December, is courtesy of Coldplay’s b-side “Murder.” And there is no way I’d be able to listen to a single song for the entire novel-writing process. I would probably go insane.

So I really don’t think I’ll be writing a novel anytime soon – especially not a good one. But one day (hopefully) I will. And maybe it will be big.


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