Monday, October 25, 2010

To NaNo or Not to NaNo -- That Is the Question

How can you resist an endeavor that brands itself as "thirty days and nights of literary abandon"? Such is the madness of National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as Nanowrimo.

Already I see blog posts popping up that give you in-depth breakdowns on how to prepare for the month, tips on how to smash through that tough third week, the dangers of pantsing it all (usually offered by die-hard outliners), the dangers of outlining (usually giving by die-hard pantsers), and so on.

I haven't done Nano in a few years, usually because I was either already writing a novel or trying to edit it. I felt that I was "past" doing such a thing as Nano, as I already knew I had the capacity to complete a novel without the prompting of the Internet.

And yet, I think I need it this year. Not because I need to prove to myself that I can write a novel but because I need to blow out some creative cobwebs. A hectic summer gave way to an exhausting fight with mononucleosis this fall. I've barely had enough energy to wash a dish some days, let alone write.

The novel I've been working on has remained untouched, waiting for me to get back to it. Yet the allure of a 30 day writing exercise to limber up the rusted machinery of my writing side appeals to me.

Would it be a waste of time? Would I be better served getting back to my current project? Anyone else doing Nano? What do you think?