November, No NaBlo


3800 feet up in El Dorado County.  Taken a few weeks ago, when the deciduous species among the evergreens were just beginning to display their autumn color.

It’s Halloween this week, and that can only mean one thing:  The annual start of NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo.

As much as I’ve enjoyed writing this blog, I’m not going to kid myself into thinking that I have it in me to write a novel.  I made a few very halfhearted (quarterhearted?  eighthhearted?) attempts in that direction in the halcyon days of my youth, which I always quickly abandoned due to a combination of lack of imagination, paucity of ambition and plain old horrible writing.  So good luck to the NaNoWriMo crew, and may the fruits of your labor not languish in your sock drawer or molder in the slush pile.

Having said no to the novel, what does that leave me with?  Well, there’s always memoir (everyone has a story, right?), but I’ve already written one of those.  Poetry?  I’ve dabbled in doggerel since the age of ten and, well, my poetry just plain sucks.  In the immortal words of A.E. Housman, “it gives a chap the belly-ache.”

That pretty much leaves me with blogging, among the few media other than Tweets and Facebook posts that one can get away with doing badly.  Doing it really badly may even yield the reward of many comments.  You may not wish to read such comments prior to imbibing in a pint or two, but there you are.

I have participated in NaBloPoMo thrice.  Each time resulted in at least a modicum of satisfaction (just for finishing, if nothing else).  One must respect the achievement of those who finish the marathon, even if in last place.  I’m far too old to be a millennial who was raised on trophies for participation alone.  Still, as Dr. Phil intoned during a recent episode of his show, the law student who graduates last in his or her class is still called an attorney.  (I have a few issues with that one, but okay.)

The above notwithstanding, there are only so many times one can make an effort as intense as that required by NaBloPoMo without going cross-eyed at the thought of doing it yet again.  If further excuses are needed, I will cite preparation for an upcoming Scrabble tournament in Arizona and hours at work that seem to grow longer and longer by the week.  Daily blogging was certainly a lot easier when I was unemployed.  Nothing against NaBlo, but I am a lot happier being employed, thank you.

It seems a compromise is in order.  While I will definitely not be blogging daily during November, I will endeavor to post at least weekly.

I figure that if my attention is diverted elsewhere, at least I can write about it.




November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  For details, click here and here.

Ten Reasons I Will Not Be Participating in NaNoWriMo:

  1. 50,000 words?! You’ve got to be kidding!  If you break it down, that’s 1,666⅔ words every day for the entire month of November.  That’s more than twice as many words as I blog daily, and my blog posts already take hours to compose.  Besides, how do you write ⅔ of a word?
  2. Too much pressure!  I hate feeling that I have to do things, particularly when I’m not getting paid for them.  I don’t have to write a blog post every day and, let’s be honest, no one will care even if I skip an entire week.  Skip a few days on NaNoWriMo and you’re pretty much toast.
  3. You need to have an idea.  I have no ideas.  Someone in my family has to say or do something funny before I have anything to write about.  Luckily for my blog, they do this daily.  Even then, the theme is pretty much played out by the time I hit a thousand words.
  4. In my home nation, the United States of America, the Thanksgiving holiday falls during the month of November.  When we go around the table taking turns sharing those things for which we feel thankful this year, I will say:  “I am thankful that I do not have to write 1,666⅔ words today.”
  5. I am already working on a memoir.  This does not in itself exclude me, as the NaNoWriMo rules state that your “novel” can be a memoir.  However, I am three-quarters done with this memoir and I do not feel like writing another 50,000 words just to get a gold star and a happy face icon.
  6. I am a lazy butt.  ‘Nuff said.
  7. NaNoWriMo is egalitarian, and as such, is very much in the American tradition.  The very concept posits that anyone can write a novel.  Perhaps.  In my case, however, it would be horribly bad!  I am not going to write the Great American Novel in a month or a year or a hundred years.  Whatever drivel I pen will just sit in a drawer (or on a flash drive) somewhere.  I might be able to get my mother and father to read it, and that’s only if I’m really lucky.
  8. My character development is nonexistent, my dialogue is laughably stilted, and I mix my metaphors, split my infinitives and punctuate my sentences with maraschino cherries instead of commas and periods.  Also, I have no concept of how to move a plot forward.  Oh, and don’t get too attached to any characters in the first few of my chapters.  I tend to forget about them and then you’ll spend the rest of your days wondering how they turned out.
  9. If I ever lose my mind and decide to write a novel in a month, I am not such a lemming that I would feel compelled to wait until the month when thousands of others are doing the same thing.
  10. I started writing my memoir 13 years ago.  Me, write a novel in a month?  Don’t bet on it.  Sign me up for NaNoSloMo, will you?


Join me in writing a blog post every day in the month of November!  Click here to sign up for NaBloPoMo.  See you on the blogroll!