Suspend Your Disbelief

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For a few Novembers now, I’ve been dimly aware that a few thousand people around the world were doing some weird writing thing during one of the busiest months of the year. NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. 50,000 words — a whole novel — in one month. No editing, no going back, no working on previous projects. Quantity over quality. Revise later.

That’s crazy, I thought. Who would do that?

nano_flyer_thumb2009Then I came up with 10,000 reasons not to do it, including but not limited to my travel schedule in November, my schoolwork, my job, my boyfriend, my family, my nonexistent pets, my imaginary herd of goats, my lack of progress on my current novel, my lack of motivation to try to get an agent for the already finished novel, my commitment to knitting holiday gifts, my commitment to watching bad reality TV, my feelings about my own special-snowflake writing process, my feelings about something involving Mercury in retrograde, my IQ, and everything else I could imagine.

Then I ran out of reasons.

Then I read this on the NaNoWriMo Web site:

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

[T]he glow from making big, messy art, and watching others make big, messy art, lasts for a long, long time. The act of sustained creation does bizarre, wonderful things to you. It changes the way you read. And changes, a little bit, your sense of self. We like that.

And some little crazy part of me thought…yes.

If some little crazy part of you is thinking yes right now too, come find me in the “writing buddies” section; I’m gwen17. We’ll be Fiction Writers writing fiction. I’ll also be posting sporadic blog entries on FWR, and maybe we can cobble together our very own sort of support group/accountability network/complaint forum/sanity maintenance program.

Who’s in?


Gwen Glazer

Gwen Glazer recently moved to Ithaca, NY, to pursue a master’s degree in library and information science and start a job that involves two of her favorite things: writing and librarians. She has one unpublished manuscript called “Down Home” and one novel-in-progress called “that new one about summer camp.” Gwen wrote a books column for a local newspaper for seven years, and her journalism-related work has appeared inWashingtonian magazine, National Journal, and several other publications. Three books she recommends to other writers are Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride, Edna O’Brien’s Country Girls trilogy and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. She also feels compelled to reflect upon subconscious lessons about character development—but not proper hyphenation or apostrophe usage—gleaned from Ann M. Martin’s Baby-sitters Club books. (Did she just admit that? Oh yes she did.) Gwen enjoys patting other people’s dogs, mucking about in her new garden and writing about herself in third person.

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