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Wednesday, October 29

I'm Committed! Or... Maybe I Should Be?

I did it! I committed to participating in NaNoWriMo 2008! What is that, you ask? It is the National Novel Writing Month. Some of you know that writing, and reading, fiction is a passion of mine. And I have always dreamed of writing novels. So with that in mind, I have chosen to commit to writing a novel. GULP! In 30 days. DOUBLE GULP!! Yep, I’m committed, or maybe I should be. I guess that remains to be seen.


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 2007, we had over 100,000 participants. More than 15,000 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.

So, to recap:

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month's time.

Who: You! We can't do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let's write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

Still confused? Just visit the
How NaNoWriMo Works page!


Needless to say, I will not be blogging, or reading, as much in November. Oh, I’ll still check in a bit, and I’ll definitely post the Monday “Love Letter from Your King”, but I won’t be doing a blog post every day. Am I excited? Yes. Am I scared? Heck yeah! But the point is, I’m doing it! Now, I’m being realistic here. I don’t believe this will be the next Great American Novel, but I’m sure the experience will be invaluable. Be sure to stop by and check out how I'm doing. I'll be adding a word-count widget soon. Thank you for your support and if you think of me, maybe send up a prayer, or two, or ten? :)

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” ~ Prov. 16:3

“And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by.” Hab. 2:2


Terri Tiffany said...

Way to go!! I'll be rooting for you and expect some updates now and then:))) You can do this!!!!

Jenna said...

You can definitely do this!! I'll be rooting you on.

Lori said...

Wow Tracy, after everything I've read so far from you...this should be a piece cake!! Seriously, w/God, everything you touch will be gold :) I will definitely pray for you. I know you're going to do great!

LauraLee Shaw said...

How exciting, tracy! I'm rooting you on, along with about 4 or 5 other friends that are crazy, I mean, brilliant enough to try this. ;)

Will be excited to hear about your journey. I know you can do it!

Avily Jerome said...

Ok, you talked me into it!
NaNoWriMo, here I come!

Lily said...

I've been kicking around the idea of doing NaNoWriMo this year, but I wasn't sure-- since this is such a busy time. Then again, with a ministry spouse and 4 kids, when is it not busy? LOL Good luck! I might join too... I need to decide today!

AnooCre8ion said...

way to go Tracy! Will be praying for you all the way.


Esthermay said...

GOOD LUCK! You can do it! I've attempted this two years in a row now and fell short of my word count twice.
BUT... last year I had an epiphany half-way through... did a total shift in thinking and writing... transformed novel into a non-fiction work and now have a publisher! It's still a work in progress! But it began with NaNoWriMo!