This evening I welcome back ‘Joe Café’ novelist, short story author, blogger, biker and musician (and more) J D Mader on the topic of writing 50,000 in a month.
‘NaNoWriMo – Mt. Everest for Writers’
I am starting this guest blog at 4:05 pm. My goal is 500 words. I have a glass of water beside me and the house is quiet. I have a sinus infection, a viral ear infection, vertigo, and I am balding. So be it. I must write.
Last year was the first and only year that I have participated in NANOWRIMO, the contest that challenges writers to write a novel (50K words) in one month, making November the month that espresso sales spike all over the world. I had heard about the contest for years before deciding to try it. It is a contest with no prize. You “win” if you make it to the goal. You can buy a t-shirt saying you won (I did). You can write “the ugly dog sniffed the fetid road kill” over and over again until you hit the word count. No one cares. No-one checks.
It is not something you do for recognition. Everyone has their own reasons, I would imagine. There is a big social element to it. Writers get together to write in groups. There are parties and events. I did not involve myself in any of that. I decided I was going to see if I could actually write (conceive, write, edit) a novel in one month. Some people run marathons. Some people walk on coals. I set a goal of 2K words a day and went to work.
I had written novels before. My novel, “Joe-Café” is currently available on Kindle. I would consider myself more of a short story writer, though. I have written many stories. And, while I often wrote long stories, 50K words seemed like a LOT. But I jumped in and started typing.
I had a vague idea of what I was going to write when I shoved off. I wanted to write a story in the style of an old western, but modernized, with motorcycles instead of horses, and set in San Francisco. I had no real idea about plot or anything like that at first. But that is how things usually go for me.
Time. That is your enemy when it comes to NANOWRIMO. I found the actual writing fairly easy. Even fun. It forces you (or it did me) to be a different kind of writer. There is no time to look back. You just go and hope it makes sense. I managed to pull it off. At the end of the month, I had ‘The Biker’, an edited (I’m sure it’s missing a comma here or there, but it makes sense) novel that I am actually proud of. It is much more linear than my previous works – due to the fact that you just start running and don’t stop.
I don’t know if I will ever do NANOWRIMO again. It reminded me of my start in journalism. Fast paced and furious. I like to take my fiction more leisurely. I sure am glad I did it once, though. And I am at 500 words. 4:16 pm.
Morgen: sinus infection, a viral ear infection, vertigo – wow, I’m a hard task mistress (the balding I knew already and gets no sympathy vote :)). Well, again, JD rose to the challenge and in 11 minutes; want to do my NaNo for me this year JD? 🙂
J D Mader is a teacher and writer / musician based in San Francisco. He has been fortunate enough to encounter many giving and inspiring people in his life. He hopes to repay the debt. And to make enough money with his writing to buy a house. You can help him buy a brick (although I think the eBook is actually cheaper!) by checking out his debut novel ‘Joe-Café’ and there will be more soon.
If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please” (while quietly bouncing up and down in my seat with joy!).
3 thoughts on “Guest post: ‘NaNoWriMo – Mt. Everest for writers’ by JD Mader”
Thanks for an insiders point of view on the joys of NaNo-that thing writers like to do. Still not sure, maybe if the tee shirt were a giveaway! Lots of fun.
Thanks Morgen. You’re on your own for NANOWRIMO this year (actually there will be many nutjobs joining you), but I won’t be one of them. 😉
Yep, it takes one to know one 🙂