Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sane People Need Not Apply...

Got a story inside you? Is it smoldering to escape? Ever dream of seeing your name in print? Do you have this gnawing sensation in your gut to sit down at your computer and create a file... a writing file? Or maybe you have even bigger aspirations? You’re hankering to write the next great American novel, aren’t you?
OK. A lot of people just ran for the Pepto. If you’re reaching for the pink stuff, stop reading. If you’d rather be dragged behind a truck naked, nipples down, than to put your crazy notions in a file on your desktop, there is no need for you to continue reading any further. Click straight out of this blog, and we’ll see you next week.
Now that we’ve separated the normal people from the nutjobs, we can proceed. For all both of you who are left, I want to let you know about a guy who is just as insane as we are--only he’s been published. His name is Chris Baty, and he wrote this whacked-out book called, “No Plot? No Problem!” He challenges new and experienced writers alike to enter a contest for National Novel Writing Month, which is the month of November. He calls the contest: NaNoWriMo. (It takes a little practice to say it.) All a body has to do is write 50,000 words in 30 days, and said body wins the contest.
Put the Pepto back in the medicine cabinet. It can be done. In fact, I did it the first year I entered, 2005. I made the mistake of telling a hundred and twenty 12-year-olds that I was doing it. I happened to be their WRITING teacher, and I was scared spitless to fail. They’d ask me every day, “How many words did you write last night?” If it turned out I’d only written around 400-500 words, they would retort snottily, “So, basically, you didn’t really write last night.” Then they figured out how to get on my contest page to monitor my progress. (I’m “daisychick”, by the way. Be a buddy.) My kids were a rough crowd! That’s why there was no way I was going to write less than 50,000 words in that teensy-weensy, tiny, itty-bitty, miniscule span of time. It’s a breath. Literally. And you’ll have Thanksgiving to contend with. Nothing like those caffeine-induced late nights, trying to get your 2000 words in for the day!
Last year I entered and didn’t post one word. Of course, I didn’t tell a hundred little drill sergeants either. I wonder if I’ll tell any short people this year?
So, there you have it. Who’s in? Go to and register for yourself. JUST DO IT! You know you want to. You didn’t read this far without being at least a little intrigued.


Cody said...

Hey- my sister told me about you. She said she met you the other day (her name is Janelle Stauffer-Boothby, she's married to Casey Boothby, he's a teacher). Anyway, she mentioned that you were into writing, and since I love writing, I thought I'd check out your blog. My question is: this is a yearly thing, right? I think I gathered that from your blog, but wanted to double-check, since November is over and all. Also, I wanted to add I like your blogs- very real and gritty. Thanks for sharing with us. If you get a chance, you ought to check out my blog- let me know what you think as a writer, because I also hope to one day be published, and would love some feedback. (I should note that I prefer poetry and creative writing, like short story, but my blog is mostly prose and spiritual/religious musings. But I would still love to hear your opinion, since it seems you would be straightforward and honest). My blog is . If you get chance to check it out, great! But more importantly, I wanted to know if that was a yearly contest. Thanks!

Melantha said...

Good words.

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