Albuquerque and its environs are associated with artists of the painterly variety who come here for “the light.” Yet come November, it’s the writerly types who can be seen at quiet corners of cafés and kitchen tables littered with stale cups of coffee and whatever authorial talismans we hope will lure the muses. We are hunkered down over a keyboard or scribbling wildly into a journal, having accepted the colossal dare of /
This year is the 10th anniversary of National Novel Writing Month and the third year this writer will pick up the gauntlet, having made it to a shameful 23,000 words in 2005 before abandoning ship. Last year, let the records note, I succeeded and have an official, suitable-for-framing certificate to prove it, finishing a working draft of the novel I had been struggling with for more than three years.
This year is the 10th anniversary of National Novel Writing Month and the third year this writer will pick up the gauntlet, having made it to a shameful 23,000 words in 2005 before abandoning ship.
Given that people have a latent competitive gene, you may be wondering: How does New Mexico rank in the big lineup? Last November, New Mexico was 47th in the world, not bad considering population density and the constant distraction of such gorgeous surroundings. It is the rainy places like Seattle, Portland, London and, oddly, Maryland that rack up the biggest word counts each year, perhaps because their damp landscapes offer little motivation to leave the cozy glow of a computer screen. New Mexico has since pulled ahead to 42nd, generating a whopping 4 million words.
This year’s challenge looms, as does the tickle of adrenaline. Sign up at nanowrimo.org and bear in mind there are many more events listed at the site beyond November, should you want to keep that sense of community and fervor alive. As every writer knows, getting the book finished is merely the beginning, so there’s support on the site for the next, less thrilling part of finishing a novel: revision, marketing, all the stuff that comes after birth.
Visit nanowrimo.org for details.