On a whim I decided to ask an old friend to write a little about his first NaNoWriMo experience and this was his response.
I am currently sitting in my dining room in Brisbane, Australia, at 1am, drinking tea that is far too hot for the weather, trying to write fifty thousand words of original narrative. My name is Joe (Hi Joe) and I’m a WriMo. By which I mean, a participant in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). In case you haven’t heard about it, it’s a challenge to write fifty thousand words of original novel meat in the month of November, and on day 21 I’m currently sitting 3,000 words shy of the 40k mark. My novel, if you’re interested is titled “The Earthly Twins” and is a (get ready for this) “Post-apocalyptic steampunk science-fantasy young adult novel”. Because genres are for nerds. (My spellchecker hates the word steampunk, it has been corrected and appropriately punished)
I decided to embark on this suicidal journey six hours and forty-five minutes before the 1st of November, with no idea what I was going to write, or what I was getting myself in for. But I sat down, waited until the clock showed 00:00, and began to write. My first chapter ended up being about a fifteen year old girl who, in post-apocalyptic London, has found a valuable intact can of Coca-Cola. Since then it has evolved into a disturbingly violent and death-filled odyssey about kids finding out they have super powers. There’s also a shocking amount of religious iconography and blasphemy. Because it’s post-modern that way.
However, the reason I’m writing this guest post (and I think the reason Emma asked me to write a guest post) is to tell you that a badly written, quantity over quality, rushed, unplanned and bizarre novel is better than no novel at all. Because YOU wrote it (or in this case, I did). The old saying goes that everyone has one good book in them. I think that everyone has a thousand good books in them, the problem is that people get too caught up in ‘real life’ to learn how to express themselves. The hardest part is starting. After I finish The Earthly Twins, I have the storylines for two sequels in my head, and I plan on cleaning up this mess of a book I have on my laptop and potentially self-publishing. Because even if one person purchases and reads the book, it’s something I have created, an original work of art that wouldn’t have existed if I hadn’t sat down on October 31st and decided to write a novel in a month. And hopefully that one person will enjoy it.
So what I’m saying is, just do it. Go out and make art because even if you don’t like what you have made, but especially if you do, it is beautiful because it is original and it is yours, and someone somewhere on this planet will enjoy it. And I hope I get the opportunity to enjoy it too.
About the author: Joe is a fledgling theatre technician from England, currently residing in sunny Brisbane, Australia. He enjoys the theatre, writing, long walks on the beach, undermining the patriarchy, and (apparently) signing up for things way beyond his skill level.