NaNoWriMo Pep Talk from Doyle Slen

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by Doyle Slen

Well, here we are at the halfway point of another NaNoWriMo. This is my third – and it’s as nerve wracking, exhilarating and annoying as the first. Currently, I am at 41,000 words: close enough to my goal to taste it.

This is the time when the writer’s elbow starts to kick in. The family begins to scowl at all the time you are ‘wasting’ at the keyboard, or scribbling on pads of paper that you have in every room. They may pass by you sniffing and ask something like, “When was the last time you showered?” and your response might be a mumbled, “What is the date?” or “We’re still in November, right?” or “What? Really, whatever you want to order is fine with me”. The last one kind of throws them off and is a favorite of mine.

This is the time to dig in. Two weeks left. You may be looking at a word count that is below what you had hoped and ready to throw up your arms in defeat. Don’t. Every word is a word you didn’t have before. Even if you don’t hit the magic number you’ve still made a great accomplishment.

I am a very opinionated person – if you’ve ever come to Dash at Milk Wood you would find that out – but I am a firm supporter of freedom of speech. Especially speech I disagree with. To me writing is as important as breathing. Expressing yourself in words or other art forms, while I may not agree with everything, is essential. It’s important that everyone gets a chance to speak. NaNo is a forum by which people are encouraged to write, tell a story, speak their mind. If everyone agrees, what a boring world this would be. It may sound cliché, but you owe us your story, poem, song or interpretive dance. It is part of the human experience.

NaNo is a forum, a sharing exercise – success gets you a certificate, maybe a t-shirt, but you’re part of something bigger than yourself. Two weeks to go, Scribblers. You can do it. Look at that – with a simple rant I added to my total!

Thanks to Harri for the home and the Dash/Snatch crew for musing it up for me.


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