NoNo and NaNo

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I know, I know, I owe you lots and lots of posts of what life is like in Boston for an out of place bear from Alaska.  I’d like to say I’ve been too busy to write, but … well .. you know me better than that.  I have some updates, but that will be tomorrow’s post.

What I want to talk to you today is about two events that will define my November this year.  One fairly popular and one that is only popular in certain circles (but popular in its own way).

The first is a fairly popular trend these days throughout half the population.

I am participating in No-Shave-November (or NoShavEmber).  The rules are simple – you shave, then you don’t for a whole month.  Some do it for fun, some do it to be cute, some have other causes.  I first participated in it last year, in part in defiance with a version that was supposed to be cooler but only for those that grow a rain forest over night (Mo-Vember?  really???).  After I did it, I found out I liked not shaving … and then it became that I liked having a goatee.  Then I just got bored.  So I really haven’t shaved for much of the summer.  So to kick off NoShavEmber appropriately I would have to have the clean slate.  Half of what I needed to do it was a couple bottles of wine, but the other half was a good cause.

I am doing this to support the American Cancer Society — which you can support by donating yourself by clicking here!!  It’s a good cause (even if I’m not) so please consider a donation.

The other big event I am more excited about, mostly because it doesn’t involved the way I physically look.

I will be a part of is NaNoWriMo.  This stands for:
National Novel Writing Month
So, if you read this blog, you know that I like to write.  Usually if you read this you may even question if what I write is fiction.  Well, guess what … I am going to give a try at a full scale fictional story.  You see, NaNoWriMo is a world wide event that challenges writers to write an entire novel in a month.  It’s a program that’s been around since 1999 and this year expects to have over 300,000 participants.

The goal is to produce 50,000 words from November 1st – 30th;  which is about 1700 words a day.  While some plotting and pre-work is allowed by the rules – any previous work on whatever novel you will write is discouraged.  The concept simply is to allow the creative juices to spring forth during the  month through the writing process.  If it helps for a reference, my blogs run about 600 words; so 1700 is a fair bit — especially on a day-after-day-after-day creative process.

The point of NaNoWriMo isn’t to produce a 50,000 novel in 30 days – the point is to produce 50,000 words in 30 days.   What’s the difference, you ask?  Well, the biggest cause of writers block and other limits to the creative process is editing.  Ever try to write something, like a letter or a note, and you start going back to correct spelling or grammar and next thing you know you aren’t writing anymore?  Of course, editing is important to the finished process, but it slows down the writer from putting words on paper.  NaNoWriMo says ‘I don’t care if what you write sucks, you can edit it later – right now, just put the damn words down’.

As it turns out, NaNoWriMo is a social process here in Boston.  There is a group that had a kick-off event last Sunday and have a TGIO (Thank God Its Over) Party in December.  Not just that, but there will be write-ins nearly every day during the process that encourages writers to get together and try different activities to ignite the creative process (like a word war — someone sets a clock and you try to type as many words on your novel as possible).  The highlight here will be the Boston Marathon — a write-in event that bounces from hosting site to hosting site and lasts for a 24 hours straight (you’re gosh darn right I’m doing that).

So that is some of what November holds for me.  Let’s just hope the whiskers grow as fast as the words. (For what it’s worth, I am not counting the 745 words that are here in this blog … but I will probably regret that come two weeks from now.)

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