I guess I won't be writing a novel this month; get back to me in May?

Once again, National Novel Novel Month is off to an impressive start. You knew that November was National Novel Writing Month, didn’t you? As the web site puts it, NaNoWriMo:

“…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.

I have to say that as a writer (not of fiction as of late, but I will probably go back to it at some point, probably soon) and as a teacher, I very much value this approach. I think the quest for perfection or just “doing it right” stops too many writers, and I also think that there is value to writing a bad novel even if the only person who reads it is the writer.

It’s just that November is too “middle of the school year” for me to contemplate a novel. Though this might be exactly the time to write a novel. I have a copy of NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty’s book No Plot? No Problem! (and, btw, the book is a hoot), and one of the pieces of advice he offers is to write when you’re really busy. He puts it like this: “If you have a million things to do, adding item number 1,000,001 is not such a big deal. When, on the other hand, you have nothing to do, getting out of bed and washing yourself before 2:00 P.M. feels like too much work to even contemplate.”

Well, regardless, it’s too late for this year. Maybe next, and I am quite serious about trying this in May or so.

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