Home > general bs. > A jumpstart on 2011.

A jumpstart on 2011.

I am adept at running out of time. It’s a talent that would be enormously impressive if only there were use for it. Professional timewaster, say—capable of squandering minute on minute like you might put out a cigarette, easily and without much in the way of a second thought. The reason I bring this up is for the fact that most of us have long since said goodbye to November (save the few of you who neglect the calendar entirely and still live in the roughage of mid-August), rolling on into December with too many Thanksgiving calories yet to burn and a Christmas list that may as well be printed on a parchment scroll.

November is, of course, the much esteemed and much dreaded host of National Novel Writing Month. It holds the door open for you, warm, inviting, and as it follows you inside it bares its fangs with which to deplete your very being. Well . . . I wouldnt know. I havent ever done the thing, but that isnt the point. The point is that you have thirty days to light up your wordcount to 50,000. Many people target 1,667 words a day; the insomniac targets 70 over the course of 720 long hours (this person is a fool). And of the thousands of people who participate in this literary steeplechase, you are bound to find some who have had notebooks filled with plot and character details and complex histories of fictional worlds. These people have been prepared before last November even elapsed. (You might call these people nerds. I do, and behind their backs too.) Others nervously register in the last week of October, fidgeting immediately under the weight of such a commitment and the realization that he or she has exactly no ideas, no characters, and a clock that wont rewind.

At the end of thirty days one either wins or loses. Some never start. Some eclipse 50,000 words by some length, doubling it, tripling it. (I hate these people.) I dont recall the total collective word count for years past, but for the 2010 National Novel Writing Month there were 2,872,682,109 words written—and those were only by the participants who submitted. Who knows how many more werent verified.

Isnt that incredible? Nearly three billion words in a month. For those too lazy to use the Google calculator, that comes out to be almost ninety-six million per day. If you didnt contribute to this total, if you didnt fire up the ol word processor in November, or if you did and something shiny distracted you—dont you feel lazy?

I do. Man, I feel guilty on top of that.

I’m surprised that all the excuses I’ve believed havent dulled the edge of my ability in a way to render it unsalvageable. The possibility that that could happen, though, that has to act as a motivating force soon. In a way this is like a list of resolutions a little before the new year rolls around (and those fettered to mid-August buy new calendars to abandon). This semester I’m fortunate enough to have published author as a professor—his name is Inman Majors, and you ought to check out his page on Amazon—who has recognized some talent in me he’d rather not see fall latent, and I’ve begun to shed the burnout of last year’s hectic workload.

For this coming year, then, I’m going to fall back into a routine, and you poor folks’ll have to bear the brunt of that, I’m afraid. The goal is to gradually reach a regular weekly wordcount—specifics I’ll outline later when this isnt a poorly-conceived idea—and hack away at my to-read list a book per week too. See if I can put up some kind of review or discussion for each of them too.

Well then. Who has the over/under on this happening?

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Categories: general bs.
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