As an effort for me to further overload myself with work, I undertook for the first time the National Novel Writing Month Challenge. Similar to #InkTober (a challenge of one ink drawing for each day of October) which my roommate completed a few days ago: https://www.instagram.com/emaadfayaz/
And similar to #NoShaveNovember (a pointless challenge that only measures a man’s worth by his completely hereditary ability to grow facial hair)
National Novel Writing Month challenges participants to write a novel of no less than 50,000 words within in the month of November.
And because I’ve been juggling a story (which could quite possibly be the first true-to-form novel I’ve ever NOT given up within the first two days of starting it) for a year, I entered #NaNoWriMo.
Of course I have my problems with #NaNoWriMo.
1. It produces a concept of mass production in fiction which in my opinion is completely inappropriate. The whole deadline thing I can understand AND get behind but introducing the severe daily word count target and stat tracking system makes the whole novel writing feel less creative and more industrial.
2. It therefore retards the very goal the institution is setting out to accomplish: boost Novel writing, creative writing and fiction writing standards in today’s world where more and more people are moving away from novels and books and into videogames, movies and TV. Encouraging poorly-thought out, panicky, mass produced literature to circle around on the internet decreases the quality of literature in general. And in a world where people are too quick to point out the flaws of reading in a modern technological society, this focus on mass production of literature is the first nail in the coffin of literature.
But it does motivate fledgling writers like myself to write for their lives. To get out of bed and write and write and write. Even if no inspiration strikes, to exercise their writing muscles and flex them and show off to the world that you don’t need to be a potential Pulitzer or Booker Prize winner with a unique, harrowing tale of love and woe to consider yourself a writer. A cool, writing society with a massive support system from around the world mutually egging each other on to finish their novels, providing inspiration for each other and connecting over a shared love of fiction and reading goes a long way in boosting your creative juices and getting you out of your writing slump. Even if your woe-ridden story of a vampire falling in love with a werewolf won’t be hitting the bookshelves soon. (to be clear, that is not at all what I’m writing about)
So dear followers and readers of this blog, I hereby pledge myself to this hare-brained challenge. To complete my novel by the end of November and instead of attempting to grow a beard for a month (what purpose does this show really except for a disregard for personal hygiene and appearance?) I will finish my novel.