NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo

BATDIG CoverAs many of you will know, November is National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo for short, during which participants each attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel. Mr Snail of Happiness has participated in this event in the past – resulting in the first half of his novel BATDIG in November 2011 (the second half was completed a bit later). Last year he was less successful, as he suddenly got swamped with work and did not have time to write the target of more than 1600 words each day.

Anyway, here we are again. Mr S-o-h has decided to accept no external work this month and is focusing on a whole new novel, which means that I will have plenty time to myself whilst he is busy writing. I certainly don’t have a novel in me. I love writing, but have no ideas for stories and no desire to be a novelist. Over the years I have had various pieces of work published (including a chapter in a book about restoring land after opencast mining, various articles in the local newspaper, a piece in Natur Cymru about teaching natural history, and a book on scientific writing) but it is blogging that I have found most inspiring. I think that this is because of the opportunity for direct feedback and seeing that people are really engaging with what I write.

NaBloPoMo November 2013So, I have decided to show my support for Mr S-o-h and write something here on my blog every day this month. My posts probably average four or five hundred words, so I’m not going to get anywhere near the NaNoWriMo-ers, but it will still be quite an endeavour. It turns out that I am not alone in wanting to do this, so I have joined NaBloPoMo –¬†National Blog Posting Month. Hopefully, over the next four weeks, I’ll entertain you and give you some things to think about in relation to living more sustainably… so please try to visit regularly and see what I’ve been up to… and read yesterday’s poem if you missed it (it was NaBloPoMo post #1).

NaNoWriMo widow

In case you don’t know. November is National Novel Writing Month, known to its friends as NaNoWriMo. Which, according to their website is:

…a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000-word (approximately 175-page) novel by 11:59:59 PM on November 30

I know this not because I am writing a novel, nor even ever plan to write a novel, but because of Mr Snail-of-happiness.

NaNoWriMo 2011When I first met him, he was part way through writing at least one novel and this continued for many years, with nothing getting finished and drafts being abandoned. Then last November he decided to participate in NaNoWriMo… and wrote 50,000 words in a month. Well. in less than a month because he had some work to do for the first week before he could get started. It turned out to be part one of a story that, with some editing and extra work was ready to be published as BATDIG. It’s started receiving some good reviews, so that’s encouraging. Now the second part is underway, along with the beginning of another story, and so we return to him spending his free time in November in front of a computer screen tapping away, or not as the case may be. He’s even blogging about it (not sure that isn’t a waste of words!?) and tracking the amount that he writes each day.

However, the purpose of this post is not to give support to all of you others out there writing madly, but to give a big shout out to all the NaNoWriMo widows… those of you who have some lonely evenings ahead for the next few weeks, who will have to walk the dogs alone, do the shopping alone and watch whatever you like on the TV alone… hang on, that’s a bit of a plus isn’t it? Conversations will revolve around word counts, plots, characters, writer’s block and writer’s block (yes, I know I’ve mentioned it twice, but it does seem to be particularly important), and meals will be hurried affairs before the writer in the family disappears again to engage with whatever literary odyssey they are embarking upon.

Don’t get me wrong… I think it’s a great idea, I just think that the Office of Letters and Light, who run the thing, shouldn’t just provide pep talks for authors, but should have a support group for NaNoWriMo widows and orphans… I know I’d be joining!

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