Thursday, November 01, 2007

And They're Off . . .

Today started NaNoWriMo, and I was disturbed to see on the website this morning that some people had started writing at midnight--Zulu time. Meaning, they were perched on their computers in the middle of the night--in England and South Africa--to start writing their novel this month. There were people who hit 5,000 words before I woke up this morning.

That's crazy.

I wrote 2,333 words this afternoon, and I'm going to stop so I can make dinner and prepare to teach logic tomorrow. I didn't plan on that number, but it struck me strange when I got there. If I were to write 1,667 words a day I'd hit the 50,000 word goal. But if I hit 1,667 words tomorrow I'm at an even 4,000, which keeps me on pace for my goal. I'll just take satisfaction that I'm 666 words ahead of the pace.

Wait . . . 666?

Sorry, Diana.

So to stay on pace for the month, tomorrow I need to produce 1,001 words. If Sheherezade could have told a story in a word, my requirement for tomorrow could have made her life a whole lot easier.

I know. Lame.

I'm still aiming for 2,000 again tomorrow.

In other news, the Artists Formerly Known as the Big Polack and Mrs. Big Polack have had the Artist Briefly Known as Little Polack. Did you follow that? Me either. Here are the pictures I was sent:

Cute kid. Although my impression of the second picture was that it looked like something had gone horribly wrong at the deli counter. TAFKABP suggested I call it "Nick's Halloween Deli." Somehow he's subtler than I am. Huh.

Anyway, congrats to Dave and Kim. And Nick, for now being Nick.

Okay, enough goo-gooing over babies. Back to your regularly-scheduled cynicism.


Diana said...

Dear Jason,

My mind looks like this:


as I try to block out that NUMBER.




M.Filly said...

The one thing that I DON'T like about NaNoWriMo is that it makes writing, which I enjoy, and turns it into work. This leads to me getting bored and doing other leisure activities, which in turn leads to me suffering from terrible guilt trips over my lack of commitment to writing. ARGH!

Jess said...

1. I can't believe you aren't eating meat. What has happened to fine meat-eating fools of the MSU MFA program?? First Greg and now YOU?! I don't know how I feel about this.

2. It blows my mind--absolutely blows my mind--that people do the novel writing month thing. I am completely overwhelmed at the thought of writing that many words in a day. Honest to God. I have been getting excited lately if I get 300 words on a page without cutting my tongue out. Writing has been bad. Sigh. Good luck with yours!

Jason said...


I really see this as the final hurdle for me. The one quirk I have had for my whole writing life that Mankato couldn't overcome is my refusal to put words on paper that I'm not satisfied with. Too often in the past that has meant that I put nothing on the page, because it all looks like shit.

The best writing advice I've ever gotten was from Nick LaRocca, who said, "Don't be afraid to write shit." But I've never been able to overcome that.

That's what I'm hoping this will force me to do.

But the people who have written 130,000 words in 7 days don't strike me as the types of people who are writing the next Wise Blood. That has to be a hundred percent fluff at that point. But it doesn't matter. That's not the point.

So, in a sense, Jess, I'm with you. But I'm hoping this will break my inner editor's iron grip on my writing courage.

Jason said...

Oh, and for the meat thing?

It's not that hard, really. I rarely think that hard about it anymore.