Monday, October 26, 2009

Why I'm Not Doing NaNoWriMo

I will not be participating in National Novel Writing Month. There are a few reasons.


1. I don't want to start a new novel. I've got two novels in a sort-of-done stage right now and I've been lax on the whole agent search thing. So what I need to do is figure out a decent query for FARVE and hit UP NORTH with the revision stick. And I've got two other novels in progress that have some potential.

2. I probably wouldn't finish in thirty days and then I'd feel like a failure and I don't like feeling like a failure. To illustrate: I was at a bar a few years back and had engaged in some over-imbibing. It happened to be karaoke night. I'm not normally one for karaoke. In fact, what I usually do while someone karaokes is make snide remarks to my friends that are probably louder than I intend them to be. I especially deride the trios of women that sing together because 1. they're not brave enough to go it alone, 2. they act like they're really having fun but that's just a cover for their anxiety, 3. if they're attractive, guys will encourage them and applaud them even if (and there's really no if about it) they totally suck*, and 3. nothing sounds crappier than three twenty-something girls singing at the same time.

So I'd had a few and I got the great idea to show off my vocal range, which, you may remember, is not exactly expansive. I went alone (to do otherwise would have been grossly hypocritical by that time of the night), and I elected to sing Clarence Carter's Strokin'.

I thought I was hilarious.** I acted out the appropriate parts of the song and sang with gusto. I was working hard up there, brother. And when I finished, I expected rousing applause or at least some good-natured laughter. Instead, most people ignored me, a few grumbled, and one jerk yelled, "You suck!" My feelings were really hurt. Which is saying something considering the euphoric state I was in. So yeah, failure stinks.

3. I really can't stand typing or saying NaNoWriMo. Seriously, typing that right then made me throw up in my mouth just a little. Ick. It's like some stupid thing a little kid would make up, like "nana nana boo boo!" And where did nana nana boo boo come from, anyway? All kids, upon reaching a certain age, seem to know nana nana boo boo and I don't get where they learn it. Last week, my very own child uttered this ludicrous phrase and I scolded her for it.*** There will be no nana nana boo boo in my house. And there'll be no NaNoWriMo, either. (Shudders)

* I include myself in this group, but note that I am not faulting the guys. We are behaving as we are biologically programmed to do. It's the girls, knowing that they'll get this treatment, that I blame, because if they are in fact attractive they almost always already know it. It's not like they need drunk guys hooting at them. They do it to make their ugly friends feel bad. That's my theory anyway. And that's just not cool.

**This is sort of a chronic failing, altered state of mind or not.

***I said, "No! There will be no nana nana boo boo. Stop that right now! If I ever hear you say nana nana boo boo in this house, then I'm going to tell you again that there is no nana nana boo boo in this house. You hear me, young lady?"


Anita said...

There's a query contest over at that might be good for FARVE. Look to the right when you get to the home page. Rock on.

Ray Veen said...

My theory on karaoke is that everybody actually hates it. Each and every karaoke singer is groaning inwardly while they endure the others, and wait for their own turn, which of course they expect to be phenomenal.

(You and I are excluded from this theory, Paul, cuz we actually have phenomenal singing voices)

Lily Cate said...

I'm not doing NaNo because I write all year anyway. I do support getting through that first draft by any means neccessary.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Oh yeah. I'm all for anyone getting their first draft done by any means necessary, especially someone's first book.