The Scary Thing is Almost Here

I’m not talking about that pumpkin-and-candy-corn business, but about the spine-tingling, hair-raising horror of…

National Novel-Writing Month.

The very concept is so fearsome that it is usually known only as “NaNoWriMo” or “NaNo,” a ritual lasting the month of November in which devotees attempt to conjure an entire 50,000-word novel from the dark depths of their own minds. These crazed writers forgo sleep, give themselves carpal tunnel and ritually scald their tongues with hot tea to prove their devotion to their all-powerful and merciless master. Or mistress. Whichever. “NaNo” actually sounds like Mork with a cold to me, but that doesn’t decrease its power to leave me shaking in my stylish-yet-affordable boots.

The idea, according to people who have successfully completed a NaNovel, is to turn off the obsessive self-editing and just write.   It has to be 1,612 words a day, but it doesn’t have to be good—revisions later, words on paper now.  You have a timeline, a goal, and a great support network of similar-minded supplicants .  You’re all before the altar of NaNo together. If you keep meaning to write a novel and never quite get around to it, there’s no reason not to do NaNo.

And that’s the scary part.


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