It’s November. It’s NaNoWriMo month. Never heard of it? It’s the month when wannabe writers and millions of authors knuckle down and commit to churning out thousands of words per day in the hope that by the end of the month they’ll have a novel.
I have mixed feelings about NaNoWriMo. Whilst I applaud the idea and am heartened to see so many people take up the challenge, I worry that too many sub-standard books and stories come out of this event. Far too many writers are fixated about reaching word targets rather than concentrating on the quality of their work. Every time I log onto Facebook I am greeted by other author’s word count totals. I’m not sure that should be the aim of it, yet I can see how it can ‘kickstart’ people. I have spoken on radio about my feelings several times, so there is no need to voice them again here. Suffice to say that I use the month to get as much written as possible but without adhering to word counts. It gives me a decent platform to work from for the next few months and quite frankly, I love having an ‘excuse’ to write into the night.
So, armed with thirty bags of jelly sweets for the month (to help my powers of concentration) and a darn good idea for my next book, I planned to write every day for at least five hours. All was set up. Mr Grumpy had been told to expect no food or housework done.
“Nothing new there,” he muttered darkly. I ignored his grumbles. This is my month. I have only a few media commitments and a head stuffed full of ideas that need to escape.
I guess my head was too full. The morning of the 1st November, excited at the prospect of coming home and working on my book, I headed off to town for some last minute provisions. Mr G dropped me of so I didn’t have far to walk. Turned out it was far enough. I must have been lost in my writer’s world because I didn’t see the pavement edge and nosedived off it in a spectacular fashion falling onto a cobbled road in front of all things –an ambulance. I picked myself up thinking it was only my pride that was dented. Alas, it was not. I was cut, grazed, ridiculously bruised and once the pain kicked in had twisted my ankle and right hand badly.
So, to date, I have not been happily ensconced in my latest book. I have however, consoled myself by eating all my sweets and with now having sat with frozen bags of peas on my hand and foot for days, I can type and walk. My legs are bright yellow instead of black and blue and tonight I plan on writing. However, let it be a lesson to you all. NaNoWriMo can be bad for your health!