Skip to main content

This November is signficant in a number of ways, but there are two I'm focusing on here:

  1. Every November since 1999, hordes of wild-eyed windmill-tilters throw themselves with wild abandon into National Novel Writing Month, a gleeful slice of literary anarchy wherein various and sundry attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days.
  2. November 6 is election day, and this November we're choosing a president.

Now I'm not someone who beleives only presidenial elections are important, but the fact that this November is a presidential election has me somewhat worried. I've done NaNoWriMo since 2003, and looking over my wins and losses tally, it is clear to me that, statistically speaking, I have a much better chance of reaching the 50,000 word mark at the end of November if a Democrat is elected President of the United States of America. Dip below the orange thingy and I'll paint you the whole, stark picture.

NaNoWriMo is sort of the Iron Man Triathalon of writing competitions.[1] To reach 50,000 words by the end of November you have to average 1,667 words a day. This looks a lot easier than it really is, because November doesn't just disappear: if you have a spouse, you still have a spouse. If you have kids, you still have kids. If you have a job, you still have a job. And all those life things have a habit of somehow magnifying ten thousand fold, making it easy to skip a day here and there until suddenly you realize you need to write 5,000 words in one night in order to "catch up," which some people can do just fine but I can't and I hate them.


Not to mention Thanksgiving. Those of us living in the US will likely be going to family events for a few precious days out of the month, and we'll be forced to, you know, talk to people instead of writing words. And by the end of the month, when you're completely fried and coffee has somehow lost the ability to keep you awake,[2] and the clock is ticking down, and you're considering flying out to the West Coast just to give you three more hours of writing time before midnight on November 30,[3] and your friends and loved ones are commenting rather worriedly on your thousand word stare... that is the exact moment when you remember that Goddamn computer game you've salivated over for the last six months is being released tomorrow, because Christmas.

November is already a stressful month. You have end of the year evaluations, and you idly wonder about whether you're going to get a raise, or a pink slip, or if you'll get into a fistfight with your ultraconservative father/mother/sister/brother/in-law/neighbor, or if it's time to put chains on the tires, or if the crack on your windshield is going to get any bigger now that the cold is coming on, and you really should get it replaced, but if it can wait till mid-January that would really be a lot more convenient. You add 50,000 words on top of that, and you're one foot in the loony bin.

You add a Presidential election to that, and things get ugly.

2003 was my first NaNoWriMo. I was enthusiastic, to say the least, and I decided 50,000 words wasn't enough. 50,000 words wasn't, technically speaking, a novel. It was a "novella." A novel was generally accepted to be 85,000 words, and I decided I wanted to hit 85,000 words in 30 days.

And I did. Boy, did I. I actually got past 90,000! I wrote a novel that roughly approximated what Oscar Wilde would have written if he'd taken Ocean's 11 and turned it into a Space Opera.[4] So I naturally decided I was going to do it again next year.

2004. I knew what I was going to write. I was excited about writing it. I had time set aside to write it. Everything was lining up for a second success...

... and Kerry lost the election.

Something about the knowledge of four more years of Bush made it that much harder to finish writing. I lost NaNoWriMo that year, and it wasn't pretty. I didn't even come within waving distance of 50,000 words. I heard rumors that somewhere off in the distance there was a land filled with 50,000 words, but all I saw were 20,000 words, and they were all variations of "nucular."

I continued to lose NaNoWriMo for the remainder of the Bush presidency. Lose, lose, lose, lose, lose. Now, losing NaNoWriMo isn't a total loss, because I still had the beginnings of novels I could use later down the line. I'm actively finishing one of those failed projects now. But, and let me make this very clear... winning is much better.

First, they let you print out a certificate. Second, you get to save a cool little graphic that you can then put up on your website. And finally, when you update your word count on their site, the letters turn purple.

The letters turn purple. What else need be said about this? PURPLE.

This is undeniably awesome. But looking over my track record it seems pretty clear that aside from one outlier, I only win when a Democrat has won the White House.

So... look, I know that some of you may be fatigued about this election. Enthusiasm may be down. Or you may think "well Obama is probably going to win so I should vote for a third party as a form of conscientious protest."

Well stop thinking that right now, Mister or Miss or Mrs. or Ms or whater honorific you prefer. I'm trying to get to 50,000 words, and Mitt Romney wants to fire Big Bird.

Your vote isn't just a vote for Barack Obama, it's a vote for the arts. Don't you like the arts? DON'T YOU?

In November, thousands upon thousands of Democratic-friendly writers will be trying to reach 50,000 words. Your vote and an Obama victory can remove a signficant source of stress, giving us the boost we need to meet our goal in bask in glory as choirs of angels sing our praises.[5]

This is going to be a particularly difficult year for me, since I'm currently in the middle of three ongoing projects that I've promised my readers I'll continue to update as November progresses, so really, I need you all to go out there to vote, and get everyone else to vote as well!

Art depends on it, people. Art. Writing. NaNoWriMo. And whatever shreds of my sanity remain come December. All those things depend on Barack Obama getting a second term in the White House, and that depends on your vote.

... of course there are plenty of other reasons to vote. Keeping Social Security, keeping health care reform, diluting the strength of the Roberts Court, keeping a lying puppet out of the most powerful office on Earth... all of these are valid, practical reasons to vote for Obama. And if those are the ones you prefer, hey, go with those!

But if you honestly believe that your vote doesn't make a difference? Look at me, a poor writer, taking on a burden almost more than he can bear. For only one vote you too can help support thousands of writers like me for as much as 30 days! Won't you help?
[1]With the following exceptions: there are no monetary prizes for winning, you don't need to know how to swim or ride a bike, and there's really not much physical activity involved. Other than that it's practically identical.

[2]What kind of world do we live in where it's possible for coffee to stop working? That's what's wrong with America, let me tell you what. Back in my day, coffee did what it was supposed to and nobody complained!

[3]"I'll write in the airport and on the plane," you tell yourself, and then you remember the TSA will probably steal your laptop. So you drop the idea and start using Karl Rove election math (from 2006) to prove that you still have enough time to make it.

[4]It was ultimately soundly rejected by every major publishing house in existence. existence then  invented a few more publishing houses just so they could reject it as well. 8 years later I self published it because fuck you, windmill!

[5]Non-religious writers can choose to bask in glory with a "choir of angles," a celebration of geometry, logic, and mathematic elegance.

Originally posted to The Baptist Death Ray on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Readers and Book Lovers and Community Spotlight.


Will you help a writer meet his goal?

39%39 votes
33%33 votes
14%14 votes
7%7 votes
5%5 votes

| 98 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Election day is Tuesday, November 6th! n/t (5+ / 0-)
  •  so what are you doing to support the President? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I did not see any mention of you going door to door or talking to your family and friends or using your abilities to help out. Afterall, if a loss is in November you will lose a lot more than the certificate and the purple letters.

  •  I tried NaNoWriMo last year (13+ / 0-)

    Wow, it is hard to get 1700 words written in one day. Even if you just write stream of consciousness. I guess I must be unconscious when I try to write.

    I was president of our church board at the time, and we were having major problems with an employee. I tried to kill the employee off in my novel, but by disguising the facts enough so that no one would recognize her, I found that it destroyed my incentive to write.

    Since we fired her this summer, maybe I could finish the novel this year.

    The Tea Party: They're so far right, they're wrong.

    by lynneinfla on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 11:02:17 AM PDT

  •  I'm in! I've always missed NaNoWriMo (11+ / 0-)

    because I've been hip-deep in edits and research.  This year the schedule might actually work.

    I'm virtuously doing the canvassing/phone banking/GOTV on election day thing.  So I'll start the new novel on Nov 7 and just write like hell.

    "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

    by DrLori on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 11:59:43 AM PDT

  •  I'm doing NaNoWriMo too! (9+ / 0-)

    this is the year i'm going to do it. I'm going to break 50,000!

    last year i wrote 13,000 words before I hit the wall. It's really hard!

    (for those wondering why i'm not phone banking/door knocking/family talking the hatch act forbids me from doing one and two, family voting for either or already has their mind made up, and i don't much like talking to most people in real life anyway.)

    pseudoscience can kill

    by terrypinder on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 12:13:36 PM PDT

  •  Last year one of my daughters wrote (8+ / 0-)

    for the English class in HS 65,000 words in November in 7 short stories.  She got an A on all 7...

    "Death is the winner in any war." - Nightwish/Imaginareum/Song of myself.

    by doingbusinessas on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 12:14:20 PM PDT

  •  The rebuttle (4+ / 0-)

    And what would an election be like without a little debate?

    I'm very anti NaNoWriMo, and here's my argument against it.

    It's actually quite easy to write 50,000 words in a month. What's hard is writing 50,000 good words in a month, or more to the point, 50,000 words that assemble a compelling narrative that someone would enjoy reading. NaNoWriMo emphasizes quantity over quality, and frankly, the quantity is entirely meaningless. It doesn't matter if you write 50,000 words, 100,000 words, ten words, or thirty-seven words, or how long it takes you to write them. What matters is writing well. That should be the goal, and I'm unconvinced NaNoWriMo helps further it much.

    You could argue that it helps you establish a regime, gets the juices flowing, etc... But if the regime is actually inhibiting your ability to produce something of quality, it defeats the purpose. It would be better to write maybe 100 words a day, and then spend the rest of the time putting your energy into something good.

    So the question is, when you sit down every day to work on your NaNoWriMo piece, how much effort to you put into producing something worth reading and why? If your desire to is write something with any quality, then you should take as much time as you need to write it. If you're not concerned with the quality, then you might as well mash the keyboard with your palm.

    Well, that's my view, anyway.

    Strange Angels - a progressive online dating site.

    by Zackpunk on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 12:28:25 PM PDT

    •  Rebutting the rebuttal (7+ / 0-)

      First, it may be easy for some to get to 50,000 words in a month, but I don't find it easy at all. And neither do the majority of people I've talked to who try NaNoWriMo. "It's easy" is not a common phenomenon from my experience.

      More importantly... the hardest thing a starting writer has to learn to do is to keep going when he or she wants to quit. It's easy to start a project, but too many people let their internal editor say "this isn't perfect" and they abandon it on the spot.

      NaNoWriMo is set up to force you to tie that annoying little shit up and shove it in a closet until you're done. You write, you finish, you assess... then you rewrite. But at that point, you've finished your damn project and you can figure out how to salvage it.

      NaNoWriMo probably won't produce quality... on a first draft. But it will produce something you can use. To date every single NaNoWriMo has allowed me to create something that I've looked at and said "yeah, I can work with this."

      note: Not "yeah, I can publish this right now." But "I can work with this."

      That's pretty valuable.

      But perhaps you remain unconvinced. After all, you don't know me from Adam and for all you know every thing I've done that's come out of NaNoWriMo is shit, and I'm just a self-deluded fool who thinks he's the next Hemmingway. (Well, obviously I'm not Hemmingway, my sentences are too long.) That's a fair point. You can't actually take my word for it. Let's acknowledge that and also agree that my rebuttal is meaningless without you actually reading anything I've done and then deciding "well, ok, that's not bad," and further acknowledge there's absolutely no reason on earth you should feel obliged to do that.

      So instead I will say that I find NaNoWriMo valuable for the reasons listed above--for the crucible that forces me to keep going even if I decide I don't like a paragraph, because you can go back and fix things once you finish.

      The other side of it is? Some people just want to do it because it's fun, in a twisted sort of way, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. People can paint for the simple reason they enjoy it--it doesn't make them Rembrandt, but there's no reason they shouldn't--so why not write? Or play piano? Or do anything else in the arts? You don't need a membership card, or be vetted by a professional organization, to do that. (You do with acting, in some states, which is tricky--Actor's Equity performs a valuable service for actors, but it does effectively block off participation in one of the arts from the rest of us commoners).

      Anyway, thanks for  the rebuttal. :D

      The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
      - Edward Young

      by The Baptist Death Ray on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 12:49:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  An additional point: it's not 50,000 words (5+ / 0-)

        It's a novel of at least 50,000 words.  Not memoir, nor essays, nor short stories nor journals, but a coherent plot with rising action, climax and denoument, protagonist(s), secondary characters and thematic coherence.

        True--just about anyone can blather on for 50,000 words, but writing a novel, controlling a narrative that large, that takes some doing.

        BDR, we can keep track of each other's progress.  I'll be there with a pitchfork whenever you need a prod from behind. :)

        "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

        by DrLori on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 01:40:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Rebutting the rebuttal rebuttal (4+ / 0-)

        It is extraordinarily easy to write 50,000 words if you don't care what the words are. Which is sort of my point. How hard it is to accomplish this goal depends entirely on how deeply you care about the quality of your work. The two are tied together. The less you care, the easier it will be to meet your quota. So it's actually providing incentive for you to care less about your writing.

        There is a certain value in learning how to let go of your expectations -- to just put words on the page, which is why many writing teachers suggest free-writing exercises. However, these exercises are only useful for short bursts -- a few minutes, or a few pages at most. To continue such an exercise for 50,000 words is extreme beyond measure.

        I have no doubt you, and many others look at your finished product and feel it's something you can work with. That's the process if you take a month or ten years. The first draft is never complete. However, it may be true, and it's likely true that the part you (or others) can work with is the first 5,000 words, and not the remaining 45,000. Which would have made it nice to stop, take a few days, look over your work at that point, rather than plowing forward without any examination and reflection.

        Learning how to finish something is great, but there are other important things one must learn as well. And if the process of learning how to finish the work throws everything else out the window, it's a meaningless exercise.

        Strange Angels - a progressive online dating site.

        by Zackpunk on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 02:39:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  nope (5+ / 0-)

          The only way to get better at something is to practice.

          If you don't put any words on paper because you're worried about getting the "right words", you'll get nothing done.

          The only way to revise a rough draft is to have a rough draft.

          The only way to get through the first two terrible novels that a beginner needs to write before writing something decent is to write those two terrible novels.

          Grunting and straining to create a final draft on your first draft when you're a beginner is absurd.

          Look, if you're a published writer who creates publishable-quality stuff on your first draft, that's fantastic. That doesn't happen to be very common even for published writers.

          •  If you're not "grunting," you're not practicing (3+ / 0-)

            The question is, why you're grunting. If you're grunting from the pain of putting words (any words) on paper, then you're not practicing how to write, you're practicing how to type.

            There's no point in writing a novel unless you intend it to be a good one. And it's true, the first two may suck, but they should suck because you tried to make them excellent and failed, not because you didn't try to make them excellent and succeeded.

            I can imagine with some writers it being useful to spit those 50,000 words out purely for the sake of getting over the terror of having to write so many words, but I think this would be a rather extreme therapy for people with a unique condition. It's not something I would generally prescribe.

            Strange Angels - a progressive online dating site.

            by Zackpunk on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 03:19:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Grunting only for the right exercise. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Susan from 29, bmaples, glorificus
              There's no point in writing a novel unless you intend it to be a good one.
              Yeah, but that's at the end of the process. And the process doesn't end with your first draft. I suppose it could for some. Not for everyone.

              The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
              - Edward Young

              by The Baptist Death Ray on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:15:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's true no matter what (0+ / 0-)

                I mentioned this in my first comment, but it's worth repeating. It doesn't matter if you spend a month, a year, or ten years writing your novel. It's never done with your first draft, ever, no matter who you are. So to say you have to write it all in one month because the first draft won't be any good anyway, that's just not a compelling argument to me.

                Strange Angels - a progressive online dating site.

                by Zackpunk on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:39:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  well you *don't* have to. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  NaNoWriMo isn't mandatory. Neither is a marathon.

                  The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
                  - Edward Young

                  by The Baptist Death Ray on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:54:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You don't have to either! (0+ / 0-)

                    You don't have to constrain yourself with arbitrary word counts and impractical deadlines assigned by some random event. You can customize your daily goals to something that works for you. You can take as much time as you need to make the first draft better. Consider it as an option. You may find it gets you further toward your goal (assuming your goal is to write the best novel possible).

                    Strange Angels - a progressive online dating site.

                    by Zackpunk on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 05:04:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  rebuttal to rebuttal of rebuttal of rebuttal... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          glorificus, Deejay Lyn

          I don't think DKos subject fields are going to let us continue this thing...

          I have no doubt you, and many others look at your finished product and feel it's something you can work with. That's the process if you take a month or ten years. The first draft is never complete. However, it may be true, and it's likely true that the part you (or others) can work with is the first 5,000 words, and not the remaining 45,000. Which would have made it nice to stop, take a few days, look over your work at that point, rather than plowing forward without any examination and reflection.
          It varied from attempt to attempt.

          The 2003 win, I wound up cutting the first four chapters but kept a great majority of the rest (with rewrites and edits). If I'd quit during the terrible four I wouldn't have got to the rest of the stuff I really liked.

          In 2006 it worked exactly the way you described. But it was useful to see where I went wrong and figure out why.

          One NaNoWriMo I only managed 8 chapters (about 18k) but they were pretty good chapters and I kept all of them largely intact.

          One NaNoWriMo I kept nothing, but the ideas were used in other stories.

          One NaNoWriMo wound up becoming the basis for an ongoing serial fiction project.

          My point is I've never looked back on a NaNoWriMo, win or lose, and seen it as a waste of time. Something valuable has always come out of it. One year there wasn't a lot, admittedly, but one of the things that did was pretty important.

          But again... it won't be the same for everyone.

          The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
          - Edward Young

          by The Baptist Death Ray on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:50:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Follow up question (0+ / 0-)

            Have you ever written a novel that wasn't a NaNoWriMo? I mean, have you ever sat down to write a novel with the resolve to make the first draft as good as you can, without a time limit? Or perhaps, a more reasonable time limit?

            Strange Angels - a progressive online dating site.

            by Zackpunk on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:52:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're actually asking two questions :) (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Second question first: my default is to try to get the chapter "as right as can be." My default is also to get so engrossed in the minutae of doing that, that I take weeks to finish a chapter. NaNoWriMo is a very good counter for that.

              First question second: It depends on where you draw the line between NaNo and not-NaNo. Some NaNoWriMo's have me picking up a story idea I've tried to write in the past but failed to make much progress on. And some writing projects I pick up outside of NaNoWriMo's were based on failed NaNoWriMo attempts. So... yes? No? I don't know. It's all writing, all year 'round.

              The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
              - Edward Young

              by The Baptist Death Ray on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 05:07:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I've written 50k in a month on deadline (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus, Deejay Lyn

      It's a brutal but doable pace, but it's only about half a novel, in that case, the second half. The other 50k took about 65 days. I prefer to have five months for a submission draft but sometimes you get squeezed. NaNoWriMo is valuable if for no other reason because it teaches people they can write that fast if they want to.

      Kelly McCullough - author of the WebMage series and the Fallen Blade books (Penguin/ACE)

      by KMc on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 10:03:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NaNoWriMo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deejay Lyn

      If it were so really easy to write 50,000 words, then why do so many people fail to reach 50,000 words? If they were really just throwing out words, everyone would reach their goal easily.

      We have thousands of art supply stores, and most of the paintings those people produce won't be worth displaying in any art gallery. So why don't we have the same tooth and claw attacks that people direct at NaNoWriMo?

      You cannot write a good story until you've written a story. That's what the constraint of NaNoWriMo does, it motivates people to write. Maybe they don't produce something that people want to read? But so what? Do people protest against musical instrument stores? Do people protest against stores that sell athletic equipment?

      The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

      by A Citizen on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 05:03:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tried it last year (6+ / 0-)

    It went very well for the first week or two and then...yeah. But the thing is, I enjoyed it when I was doing it. I didn't pressure myself. I actually surprised myself with a storyline I'd been thinking about for years, and stuff I'd never once contemplated came out. And I broke through years of being afraid to do it. So I think I will try again this year...thanks for the push!

    You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarass the guilty. - Jessica Mitford

    by Cynmill on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 12:38:09 PM PDT

  •  presidenial (5+ / 0-)

    great typo :) I would define "Presidenial" as the feeling Republicans have November 7th when they try to cook up a conspiracy theory about why Obama's not legit.

    If only Michael Phelps hadn't smoked that pot...imagine what he could have accomplished with motivation and good lung capacity.

    by papa monzano on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 12:49:47 PM PDT

  •  This entire diary is hilarious and perfect (8+ / 0-)

    I was going to quote some of the good bits, but there are too many.  After months of donating, poll watching, and some phonebanking, I have been feeling serious election fatigue. But this diary made me laugh AND has got me fired up to volunteer at my OFA office. So, tipped and rec'd for the whole damn thing.

    BTW, I'm doing NaNoWriMo for the first time this year, and I didn't know the letters turned purple. PURPLE!

  •  One of these years I am going to do this. I keep (4+ / 0-)

    saying that, and then I plan travel during November, as I have done this year.

    I am sure there is no connection.

    Good luck with your work!

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Susan Grigsby on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 01:34:21 PM PDT

  •  I love this! (6+ / 0-)

    I can't NaNo this year but I will be rooting for all of you. This is a hilarious piece of writing. Thanks!

  •  I've been doing (5+ / 0-)

    NaNo for years and have never finished. My kid has finished the last two years plus done ScriptFrenzy and NaNo camp in the summer. And her stories don't suck. I don't know that an Obama win will change my luck, but I know I'll be mighty pissed if he doesn't win and that will probably block me even more! So, go Team O!

    Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. --Mark Twain

    by Debby on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 01:55:31 PM PDT

  •  I'm In (6+ / 0-)

    I've been gearing up to write 50,000 words myself. Doing all the pencil sharpening I can so I'm actually ready to go. And curiously, I've had the same thought, or so. I've worried that if Obama loses I'll be too depressed to keep going. So, help one, help all... Let's get this president back in the White House and these novels out on the shelves.

    In a time of universal deceit, the simple act of telling the truth is revolutionary--George Orwell

    by Circle on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 02:06:29 PM PDT

  •  NaNoWriMo Class (5+ / 0-)

    For the 7th year in a row, I'm running a class at UCLA Extension called "Write a Novel in a Month as Part of National Novel Writing Month."  To date, I've had about 200 participants and their completion rate has been 84% (compared to the international average since NaNoWriMo began of 16%).

    With that kind of success rate, you can be sure that I have many methods and strategies to help the writers get across the 50,000 word finish line.

    If you're in Los Angeles, there's still time to join the class.  

    If you're on your own, I wish you the best of luck and success with the challenge. It's doable!

  •  Hats off to anyone who can write... (4+ / 0-)

    ...50,000 publishable words in a month. I hit the wall at about 10,000 per even on deadline. May have to do with me being a two-finger typist, but that's another story.

  •  good luck for everyone's NaNoWriMo this year! (4+ / 0-)

    I "won" last year's 50,000 with a massive catch-up on Thanksgiving. This year work is a bit too frenzied to try.

  •  Thanks for the NaNo reminder! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've completed some years, haven't others.  But I found that the concept of 1667 words/day' became a problem for me.  So I re-thought it and came up with this --

    50K words over 4 weeks = 12,500 words/week
    Once I've gotten my typing speed back up, I can pretty easily write - 2000 - 2500 words in 1.5 - 2 hours.

    At 2000 words/day, 12,500 words take 6.25 days.
    At 2500 words/day, 12,500 words take 5 days.

    So, if I can 'front-load' a week with 2-3 days at 2000 - 2500 words/day, I can ease up or take a day off if needed.

    Actually, Mitt, I AM entitled to food.

    by CroneWit on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:32:10 PM PDT

  •  like your screen name (0+ / 0-)
  •  I'm with ya. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Since 2004. Find me. Friend me. We can push 'em over the top if we somehow will it to be so, and that's not so hard to do when your first concern is the current level of nanocoffee and nanocookies. Is it?

    Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
    Left/Right: -7.75
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

    by Bud Fields on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 05:21:24 PM PDT

  •  Anybody named (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Baptist Death Ray" gets an automatic rec. Love that screen name!

    And -- I was thinking about trying the Nov thing, and now you may have convinced me. Thanks -- and my wife says thanks too!  :-)

    Do you havea blog or web site?

    Bruce in Louisville
    Visit me at,, or
    Follow me on Twitter @brucewriter or @ThreePols

    by bmaples on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 05:22:44 PM PDT

  •  I will be voting, and I will be doing NaNo (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glorificus, Deejay Lyn

    I will be psycho crazy with the rest of you doing NaNo.

    I, unfortunately, am masochistic and do it EVERY year, no matter what I've got going on.

    I am working on the first book in a series that I'm working on that I'd originally started during CampNaNoWriMo in July's session and then LOST all 4k words :(

    As for the election...Obama/Biden ALL THE WAY!

    Nothing says your sorry like a dead bunny.

    by Caedy on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 06:02:58 PM PDT

  •  I'm planning to do NaNoWriMo this year too (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glorificus, Deejay Lyn

    God help me.  It's been hard enough to get to 750 each day--like running small amounts each day in preparation for a marathon.

    Good luck to you, The Baptist Death Ray!

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    CALL EVERYONE YOU KNOW in OH, PA, FL, NC and TX. Make sure they have the ID they need to vote, and make sure YOU are registered and ready to vote!

    by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 06:58:10 PM PDT

  •  my NaNoWriMo record. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glorificus, Deejay Lyn

    First time I tried it, I kicked its ass - I wrote a scary-as-hell zombies-in-a-storm-drain novel, called Signal 30, 6,000 words over the requirement and 2 days before the deadline!

    Second time I tried it, I finished another horror novel... but, it took me two years.

    Third time I tried it... well, that was another horror novel called Daisyland, started in 2009 and finished... well, I'll let you know if that ever happens... :p

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:09:44 PM PDT

    •  First time seems to be the charm. (4+ / 0-)

      First time out you have momentum and enthusiasm and "hey this is NEW and WEIRD!" on your side. And then the second time around you remember all those times the first time when you hated everything about life, and then you realize you're doing it again.

      Then you remember you haven't played a video game in weeks.

      (Well that might just be me.)

      The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
      - Edward Young

      by The Baptist Death Ray on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:15:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe 1st time you have the best ideas (0+ / 0-)

        At least hopefully you put the best ideas out there first? Or maybe you like it so much you don't want to wait a year to bundle your ideas. Maybe there's something you always wanted to write about but never got around to--and that's a powerful motivator.

        I think the element of novelty is an important thing to get you going, but that's not to say NaNoWriMo can't lead to more everyday stuff or stuff you'd do if you had time. You can't budget when you're going to be creative.

        But for something this unusual I think novelty outstrips experience & first time writers may let an idea stew before writing it all out in a month. People who've already written may not be able to wait a year, but of course the can/should set their own deadlines.

  •  I was going to do Nanowrimo this year (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew S

    but now my right arm is in a sling for at least 6 weeks, and I'm right handed, so typing is really slow. plus am on muscle relaxers and strong pain meds.  Maybe next year?

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 10:58:58 AM PDT

    •  Ever tried Dragon NaturallySpeaking? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's not perfect, but it gets a lot right. I find it saves energy even though I am a fast typer. You can just close your eyes and spout off what you want to say and do the touch-ups later. Less worrying how something is spelled, etc.

      Sometimes when I'm physically tired I can still get a lot of note transcription done & I really recommend it--get an eariler version that's cheap on eBay, though.

      •  We have Dragon already (0+ / 0-)

        But, with my COPD it's not as easy for me to use as it is for my other half (He has cerebral palsy and is legally blind). I often don't have the air to write like that unfortunately. I'm reading to my daughter in 15 minute blocks because more than that and I start coughing pretty much uncontrollably. It's a good suggestion though.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 01:04:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, ignoring politics helps me (0+ / 0-)

    I think after the disasters in 2002 and 2004 and 2010, I gave up paying attention a bit and got a lot done. So there's some selfishness for me. Though I avoid difficult situations, they often give me bursts of writing ideas. Still, yeah, I want to be able to get a burst of creativity on my own.

    And as much as I want to write for NaNoWriMo, though, I try to have a notebook of everyday writings. It's really added up over several years, and I've been able to sort the ideas as well. It's certainly fun to follow NaNoWriMo, though.

    Best of luck getting through--and that includes making your own luck.

  •  So, here you are wasting words on an essay (0+ / 0-)

    when you could be writing a novel? Oh heck it's only October, sry ;)

    Thanks - enjoyed this :)

    We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
    Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

    by pixxer on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 05:29:21 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site