Oh-KAY, Mr. Moskowitz!
Happy Holidailies!

Four for Four

Nano_2006_winner_largeOne of my best pals asked me today:

Why do you do it?

I do it to force myself to write a substantial piece of fiction. Knowing that I have 30 days to write 50,000 words is motivating to me. It means I can't worry over a turn of phrase, or fret over consistency, or take time to confirm historical accuracy. But it also means that I get a pretty decent shitty first draft done.

Part of it is knowing that there's an end in sight: 50,000 words and you're done. Part of it is knowing that it's just 1,667 words a day. That's doable, even with multiple games of Solitaire and Super Collapse. Part of it is knowing that there are thousands of other nutbags out there doing the same exact craziness as you. Part of it is the thrill of seeing that WINNER notation under your name.

I donated some money to the Office of Letters and Light (the non-profit organization that runs NaNoWriMo), so part of it is knowing that I'm helping to build libraries in Cambodia, Laos, and Viet Nam.

I also really love the comraderie of  the group of writers I've been hanging out with. Everyone's in the same boat, dealing with uncooperative characters and stubborn plots, counting words and figuring out how the hell they're going to get to the finish line. Even those who are so far behind that there's no way they'll finish come and write.

Plus, it's just plain fun. As last year's tagline said, you can "let your imagination rain."

I know there are folks who think that National Novel Writing Month is an exercise in futility, a useless pastime, or just plain stupid. That's okay. Creativity works differently for everyone.

And NaNoWriMo works for me. If I hadn't found this crazy internet challenge, I wouldn't have written anything, must less over 200,000 words. I'm exhausted, I'm drained, and I can't wait for next November.