Monday, November 2, 2009

Quote of the Day - 11/2/09

"on behalf of kids and kids at heart everywhere, to all the people who followed the trend of handing out bags of baby carrots for halloween...

"you suck and i'd have F***ed your S*** UP with eggs and TP. STOP KILLING HALLOWEEN AND GIVE OUT REESES."

- Katie Cook, artist, via Twitter

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Photo of the Day - 11/1/09

Bacon and Cheese Omelet with a Side of Hash Browns and Toast
Breakfast at Tolly Ho
Lexington, Kentucky
November 1, 2009

Where to Start?

With so few entries on my blog in the past few months, it's quite a decision to decide where to begin with this first informative post since May 17, 2009. But what I've decided is to start with what is most current and then try to fill in the cracks over the course of the next month.

It's November 1, and that mean's it is the first day of National Novel Writing Month. The goal of NaNoWriMo (as it is called) is to encourage writers to finally break through that wall that has prevented them from starting and or completing a novel and get it done. The NaNoWriMo guidelines state that a writer is successful by completing at least 50,000 words toward their novel. According to the Web site:

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

In 2008, we had over 119,000 participants. More than 21,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

There are no prizes of monetary significance. The only thing NaNoWriMo can offer is the encouragement to write that novel and give you a sense of achievement. And let me tell you, as a writer, that is quite a prize.

Writing is not always easy. Actually, it rarely is.

I attempted this endeavor for the first time last year. Taking classes, working and other things kept me from succeeding. But his year, I've decided I will not, NOT, be denied. I have 30 days to write at least 50,000 and after Day 1 I have completed 2,173 words. And it felt good. To achieve the 50,000 word mark, I must average about 1,667 words a day. I'm ahead of schedule, but I can't let that make me over confident or think that I can skip a day. I must continue to write 1,667 words a day. And I will.

At the end, I should have something I'm proud of, if for no other reason than I made it that far.

Of course, cleaning it up and rewriting is a different story.