Do I Dare?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011
What to do at my desk today? Oh, I know, maybe write a novel! 
I'm not the biggest fan of  NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, is an online writing challenge which started in 1999. Participants attempt the semi-ludicrous challenge of getting a 50,000 word novel completed between 00:00 November 1 and 23:59 November 30. Yep, that mean you need to write an average of 1667 words per day, and in a month that has a major holiday in it no less. Oh the horror!   

After railing against NaNoWriMo this past November, about how it sabotages your life and all you get in the end is a crappy 50,000 word novella, I should really be blushing when I say this next thing . . . 

Over at ivillage's The Writing Life, a similar challenge called WriLiMarCha (Writing Life Marathon Challenge) takes places. Participants are challenged to get 50,000 words of writing done in the month of March.(Hooray for March having an extra writing day over November and no major holidays unless you count St. Paddy's) I'm tempted, really tempted, to try to get a long languishing novel draft finished this month. 

After all, in WriLiMarCha's description posted over at the Writing Life makes the challenge sound so much more accessible than NaNoWriMo: WriLiMarCha, was born as a freer, gentler alternative to NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. The anti-rules are many and you can ignore what you want. You may write a novel but you don't need to. Poetry is acceptable as are articles, essays, and short stories. Journalism works here too, possibly better than in your favorite newspaper. You can write anything you want. (I really believe in that rule.) There is no need to download your daily writing into any program. We trust you. Speaking of word count, our goal is 50,000 words during March. Writers who can only manage 29,000 (my average) still win. Anything that keeps you writing makes you a winner.

Friendly sounding yes, but still, even with an extra day in March, meeting the 50,000 word goal in a month means 1613 words a day.   

Why try?

Well . . .  because this novel idea has been rattling around for four years and has received hardly any attention at all. Because it's already started: adding 50,000 words to the already begun document would get the story darn close to standard novel length. Because it doesn't matter how good the first draft is, I just need something to edit the heck out of at some later. Because the novel I gave my blood, sweat, and tears for years is currently making the rounds with literary agents. Because I am overdue for a new major writing project. Because I'm a glutton for punishment.

Anyone else joining me? Just remind me why this was such a swell idea around March 19th, okay? 


  1. You seem to be ready for it. Up for it. Masochistic enough to do so. I will hold hand and offer second shoulder as per March 19.
    You go girl! Good luck

  2. Awesome! My unsolicited opinion is: Go for it! Good luck and hang in there!

    Oh, lots of coffee :)

    I can't wait to hear how it goes!

  3. Hmmm...this is an interesting idea. I am also a glutton for punishment. I take on way more than I, why not join in??? Just because I still have 2010 tax prep waiting and have a baby shower crochet project that needs to be finished by March 19 and a 5 mile race that I want to do on the 20th...seems like just the right time to write a novel!

    I may modify this. 500 words a day, 15,000, no predetermined topic, just freewriting jiberish. Like you said, as long as you have content to edit later, that's all that counts. It's a far cry from 50,000 words but given the full time job and my other March committments, it's still a bog project. I know I'm going to regret this.

  4. you should...
    you know, I've attempted NaNoWriMo 3 times and succeeded it twice. The reason i love it is it's like a really good month of developing a workout routine. the down side is that it's the holiday season, which throws most schedules out the door so come january, I am just as undisciplined as i was before.

  5. I think this may be exactly what I need to get my previously started novel closer to completion...I'm in...and yes, along about the 19th or 20th, we can join in either our celebration of the development of good writing habits (this is what I think will happen) or in dismay at how we've fallen by the wayside!! We're going to do it tho...let's go. And really, when you think of our standard blog word content, we only need to increase that maybe 3 or 4!


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