With one month to go until NaNoWriMo begins it is time for some desperate last minute prep. I have only the vaguest of plans this year. I think I might be a rebel and write non-fiction.
This is clearly a very bad idea. I have very little experience of writing non-fiction and since the thing I’m thinking of writing is not from my own personal experience it will require a lot of research. I also have other things I should definitely be writing. Worst of all I should really be preparing to move house.
However, the big thing about NaNoWriMo is that it’s already a terrible idea. Writing 50,000 words in a month is clearly daft. That’s too much for most people and no challenge at all for the rest. It’s not even a good length for a novel. Somehow, in spite of all that, it works as a way to get creativity unstuck. I have rarely been more in need of getting unstuck than I am this year.
So, while I’m not working on my big secret project (because I can’t at the moment), and I’m not packing things into boxes (because I physically can’t), I shall be wading through the swamps of research and trying not to drown in the depths of the internet. Wish me luck.
It’s been a wee while since my last post so I reckon it’s time for a general update.
NaNoWriMo and Preptober
It’s nearly that time of year again. National Novel Writing Month. Every November millions of people around the world come together to write the first draft of a novel (at least 50,000 words) in thirty days. I’ve done it every year since 2004 and as Municipal Liaison I organise my local group. Preptober is the even more informal challenge of preparing for NaNoWriMo.
You might think NaNoWriMo would be easier this year than it usually is. More people working from home, less pressure to go out and socialise and the shitshows of the US elections, Brexit and a global pandemic to want to escape from. On the other hand there is also the crushing existential angst, the financial worries and the fight for democracy to distract us and make us feel like our silly little stories are unimportant. We can’t even meet up in person to support each other.
I’m doing my best to build my local group up using tools like Discord and the NaNoWriMo forums. I get the impression that a lot of people just aren’t feeling it this year so I need to work particularly hard not to tie my feelings of self worth to the success of the group.
Over on my personal blog there’s a new post up in the ongoing Zeppelin Watch series. It’s full of Black Holes and Science! Check it out.
Also on the blog is the link to the new Zeppelin Watch t-shirts, also stickers, tote bags, mugs and face masks. If you choose to visit the site don’t be put off by the shipping charges. I’ve had customers tell me that the price they were initially quoted for shipping dropped when they got to check out. I have some other T-shirt designs I hope to upload in future. Here’s a sneak peek at one.
The other thing I’ve been working on is a pitch. I can’t say much about it just now but I do have some thoughts on pitches and how they differ from querying agents or submitting to publishers. Once those thoughts crystallise I’ll have a blog post about it. It’s entirely possible that it will mostly be me complaining that I have to actually write stuff down like some sort of peasant, rather than publishers and production companies coming to my door to beg for my golden words.
Why can’t I achieve success just by thinking about it?