Dear Authors and Readers: I Am A Total And Utter Spanner

Only 1,150 days until Christmas 2016, folks

Only 1,150 days until Christmas 2016, folks

Bet you didn’t expect this kind of honesty this late in the week, eh? I thought not. But I need to admit I’m a twit before I make any other wild pronouncements this month.

Define: Spanner

For those of you not familiar with different designations of Irish eejitry, a Tool is a person of significantly limited wisdom, and a Spanner is a particularly moronic type of tool, characterised by regular brainless activity, such as the spouting of irrelevant things, like the price of cabbage and whatnot.

So, It’s November the 1st, and…

My entitlement to the title of Spanner comes because I’ve signed up to do NaNoWriMo again, writing 50,000 words in November under the umbrella of the worldwide National Novel Writing Month club, in a month when I have fifty thousand things to do, let alone fifty thousand words on one of my novels which has been outlined and re-outlined about fifty thousand times at this stage.

Evidence of Lunacy

Evidence of Lunacy… image courtesty of those nice NaNoWriMo folks last year

However, I did it last year, at a time when I shouldn’t have had the spare capacity to scratch myself, thus proving that I live in a suspended state of unwarranted optimism and daft imaginings.

Which, I believe, are the only characteristics needed to qualify as a writer. N’est pas?

The Bestseller Link

Anyhoo, to keep it on topic, the most famous participant in NaNoWriMo I’m aware of, according to the success it brought them, is Erin Morgenstern, author of  the magical epic The Night Circus. Her screaming bestseller started off as a NaNoWriMo novel, and ended up in print, generating oodles of praise and discussion in turn. And it’s a major incentive.

There are definitely some participants who merely upload a previously-written 1,667 words a day (or 5 – 10,000, making it blatantly obvious), and call it writing. Perhaps they do it out of loneliness. There are, however, others, who use NaNoWriMo to force themselves to spew the words out which otherwise they would be tweaking, beating and rewriting until their novel simply dies of exhaustion, endless, resolutionless and begging for mercy.

The reason I’m doing NaNoWriMo is to force me to get it down finally in a first draft, whether the writing is awful or not, because I otherwise might not finish it. The only flipside is that the end result might look like the physical manifestation of Editor Abuse. (Which is my feeling about Morgenstern’s book, but hey, she sold loads of them, so who cares.)

Anyone else out there joining me in this utterly foolish crusade? Have you done it before? And if so, why did you do it?

  12 comments for “Dear Authors and Readers: I Am A Total And Utter Spanner

  1. johanna buchanan
    November 1, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I have never done it and this year I felt, yet again, I was too busy. But having read this crusading call I realise there are still many hours in the 1st November and I could in theory sign up yet. Or else I could make myself a nice cup of coffee and watch a repeat of Fair City.
    Which will it be? Hmmmm


    • November 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      I did hear that Fair City was particularly hilarious at the moment (unintentionally, of course). So that is definitely an option. But if you sign up for NaNoWriMo, you might feel a sense of achievement for even signing up. Whereas if you watch Fair City, you might just feel dirty, and have to wash your mind out with highbrow literary fiction or something. And if you don’t have any of that to hand, I don’t know what you’d do.
      Tough call.


    • November 1, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Nanowrimo, Joan! Next novel, please! 🙂


  2. November 1, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Best of luck, Tara! My 3rd and 4th novels started as nanowrimos! And now they’re there ready and waiting to be edited! But they are words on the page which is so much better than the blank page!


    • November 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      Now there’s an example to follow, Carolann! I can’t wait to see them – it must feel the absolute bizz to have those already shaped and waiting for you to buff them up. You might remind me of that this month. Approximately 3 times a day will be fine. Thanks. 😉


  3. November 1, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Woo Hoo. I’m a spanner too. 😉
    We should get together for a scribbling session 😉 x


    • November 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      And so we should! We can tsk and bah at each other over our laptops! And anyone who smiles or feels empowered will IMMEDIATELY be rewarded with a bun!!


      • November 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

        Excellent plan. If I start shouting at my characters you can always explain to passers by about my meds…


        • November 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm

          Or not, and merely incorporate their shocked reactions into my story. Mwah ha ha ha.


          • November 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm

            I like your style. Better refill that prescription!


  4. November 1, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    I do it because it is another way to be accountable to my project and I get to meet some great people!


    • November 2, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      It is a great way to meet people! Nothing like panicked solidarity to form a bond. Very best of luck with NaNo David!


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