Preparing for NaNoWriMo

I once heard awhile back that when asked what their dream job was, a whopping 40 percent of people replied it was to write a bestselling novel. Being one of those 40 percent, I find this both staggering and overwhelming, but I take solace in the fact that:

1) I am actually a writer, and

2) that number has dwindled since the reality TV epidemic (it always surprises me how many people in this world want to be famous for doing absolutely nothing)

Since I lost my job, I have been backpatted and assured by friends and repeatedly by my husband and mom (love you guys!) that something bugger and better is out there for me. It was meant to be. So call it coincidence, but less than 10 days after my last issue went to press, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) begins.

I’ve been thinking about doing this for awhile, and have been thinking about my novel for even longer. So last night, I took the plunge and signed up! Now, with an update on Facebook and this blog post, I am accountable to my “Friends” and the blogosphere to give it my all. The goal is to crank out 50,000 words in one month. They say last year out of 200,000 participants, 30,000 saw this to completion. I’m guessing that even with my “full-time job” of job hunting, the occasional freelance gig and watching Jed, that I have way more free time to take this on than most who take on this challenge.

It’s all about quantity, not quality, which will be a challenge in and of itself. I’m a harper. I can linger and obsess over a single phrase for hours. But this contest will force me to just keep going, get it out on “paper”, and deal with the editing later — a whole new approach for me. I’ve done a little research in the past 24 hours and it turns out there are two types of NaNoWriMos: those who thoroughly prepare with charts, graphs, character sketches and color-coded Post-its… and those who don’t. Being that I’m throwing my hat in the ring at the eleventh hour, I fall in the second category… what they call the “pantsless” approach. I learned all about it from a fellow pantsless writer here (thanks, Amber!). Totally made me feel better to know I’m not the only one flying by the seat of my pants (or lack thereof). Plus, Asheville seems to have a great NaNoWriMo community with write-ins twice a month where you can get together with others and simply write. While those meet-ups are all about writing, I’m also secretly excited about getting to know other writers in the area as all of my writer friends are scattered across the country.

This probably means my posts here in November will be short but they will be.

Anyone else writing a novel or taking on the literary Everest that is NaNoWriMo? How are you preparing for it?

Wordspotting #1

This is the first installment in a series I’m calling Wordspotting. When I spot a word on a blog that I like, I make a note of it. When I gather enough to warrant a post, I share them. I’m a writer and hence a total word nerd… comes with the territory:)

Favorite word finds from around the blogosphere this week. Definitions via

Twee – Excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty, or sentimental.                                                                  “Instead I went with cute. Like, unseemly cute. Borderline twee.” ~ Smitten Kitchen

Cloying – causing or tending to cause disgust or aversion through excess.
“…I could finish the whole bowl without the taste getting cloying.” ~ Burp and Slurp

Busker – a noun loosely meaning street performer, from the verb, “busk“-Chiefly British. to entertain by dancing, singing, or reciting on the street or in a public place.     “The first involved an African-American busker in the subway. He was playing and singing a song by Coldplay.” ~ Chloe Veltman, Lies Like Truth 

Chloe gets bonus points for using one of my favorite words in her blog title, “A Vapid Question and an Un-Politically Correct Comment.”

Vapid –  1. lacking or having lost life, sharpness, or flavor; insipid; flat 2. without liveliness or spirit; dull or tedious.

Use a word three times in one day and it’s yours! What are some of your favorite words?

Words and music.

“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” ~ ???

This quote has been attributed to Steve Martin, Martin Mull, Frank Zappa and Elvis Costello to name a few. I can’t imagine not claiming such an accurate, colorful witticism and yet it remains shrouded in inscrutability. This is the type of writing I love. Great writing doesn’t require fancy words. Don’t get me wrong. I love all words. But there’s so much you can do with the most basic vocabulary.

As someone who has written music features, I can attest to the truth of this quote. I have not faced a greater writing challenge than writing about music and have the utmost respect for those who do it well.