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.