Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Nanowrimo snuck up on me this year. I'm not sure how that happened.

I first heard about nanowrimo back in 2006. That year, I was all gung ho to do it. I even got my mom to participate. The next two years, I was still into it. And while I didn't "win", I did meet the goals that I set for myself and got what I wanted out of the experience. Last year, I was too busy to even think about trying. But all of this has led me to do some thinking about the process of writing a novel:

Writer's Block - some writers say it doesn't exist. When pressed to explain their position what they are objecting to is using writer's block as an excuse for not having written anything. I agree with that sentiment. If you're not writing because you're blocked and you're not doing anything to get rid of that block, then you get no sympathy from me. But there are things that can dry up the creative flow: depression, illness, stress, fear of failure, success, or being laughed at, etc. If you've identified the cause of your block and are trying to do something about it, then you have all my encouragement and support. Participating in nanowrimo can be a great way to blast that block away.

There's some controversy over whether there should even be a nanowrimo because of the premise behind it: "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." In some ways this attitude lessens the talent and skill it takes to write a novel. Writing a good novel that anyone except your mother would want to read is not something everyone can do.

You all would look at me as if I were crazy if I said, "I always wanted to be a surgeon. I'm going to take a month off, give it a go, and remove a few tonsils." Or imagine someone saying, "I always wanted to be an engineer. I'm going to take a month off and design a bridge." So why do we think that anyone can write?

On the other hand, if you have the strong desire to write and need something to blast away the block, then nanowrimo is a great way to do it.

If you're participating in nanowrimo, good luck!

In other news, I've been trying to get the links to contributor blogs updated. I've added Laurie Dalzell, Damien Walters Grintalis, and Stephanie Hamrick to the list. I'm missing a few. If you know someone that I should add, send me an email to diana at scribblersandinkspillers dot com.

And I've been trying to get a handle on facebook. It's become even more user unfriendly than it used to be. Sigh.

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