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July 15, 2024

Notes From the Office 03

By Sand Pilarski

The season has changed.

No longer are writers sitting around drinking beer and wine, staring at the screens of their laptops, trying to figure out whether or not they ought to be writing instead of watching football or soccer or the neighbor's yard service buzzing manfully about, over-mowing a now half-dormant lawn. No, no longer. There is a wind of change blowing, bringing with it the whiff of November, and the far-off echo of continuously clicking keys, and the premonitions of horror and tension and panic.

November is National Novel Writing Month. For those who rise to the challenge, a novel of 50,000 words is waiting to flow from imagination to print in 30 days or less.

Why would people do that to themselves? If you plan to pace yourself through the 30 days of November, you have to write a minimum of 1667 words a day in order to make fifty thousand by midnight of November 30th. That's a lot of words, especially if the writer is trying to write coherent sentences. It's crazy to expect yourself to write that much in the limited time available to most people.

I don't know why other people do NaNoWriMo. I only know that my first novel, written in November of 2001 (at least its first draft) brought something out of my heart that I didn't even realize was there. And the one year since then that I didn't follow through with the challenge left me feeling empty and cheated.

So many people say, "Oh, I could never do that," but maybe they're really saying, "Oh, I'm afraid to try that."

Don't be afraid. Give it a whirl.

So far Piker Press staffers and contributors who plan on attempting the National Novel Writing Month challenge include Cheryl Haimann, Wendy Robards, Lydia Manx, Dan Mulhollen, Mel Trent, Katrina Stonoff, Mary Klaebel, Jerry Seeger, Joel Millican, and Cherry Kelly.

And me.

-- Sand Pilarski

* * *

This week's edition includes yet another of Bernie Pilarski's Mei-Ling tales, as well as a photoessay by staffer Lydia Manx about bees that invaded a large birdhouse near her house.

Next week, in preparation for National Novel Writing Month, Dan Mulholland will give readers some advice on how we write.

Article © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2007-10-15
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