Friday, May 28, 2010

On BuNoWriMo

I’ve been in a partly self-imposed “no-blog-mode” lately (partly, because there also have been things out of my control that kept me away; like moving, and no internet at the new place the first few days, and family commitments, and an intense obsession with the show “How I Met Your Mother”…). I realized that if I ever was to make my June 1st deadline for the next chapter of my thesis I had to stop spending so much time complaining online about how slow my progress was. Also, since my funny mood as of late has been continuing (and the only thing I really want to do when I’m in that mood is to go hermit, which I now have the luxury of doing in my own home), I didn’t feel like gracing the internet with my presence.

I have gotten some work done on my chapter (yay!), I have gotten installed in my new apartment (yay!) and I have internet again (y… nay? Yay-but-with-a-hestitation-because-I-know-this-will-slow-my-progress-down-nay?). While I fully intend to retreat back to hermit mode as soon as this is written (only interrupted by the hours I have to be at work), I did have a reason to type this today. June 1st is a big day, not just because I get to say bye-bye to my chapter for a few days (wish I could say for life…), but also because that is the day that the Burrow is launching this year’s greatest event – BuNoWriMo! It’s gonna be LEGEND – wait for it – DARY! (I really have watched too much “HIMYM”…)

Those of you who have been suffering with me for a while will know that back in November I allowed myself to be talked into participating in NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo (short for National[though it has long since become international] Novel Writing Month) takes place every year in November. The purpose of NaUhmHowDoYouSpellItAgain is to write a novel of 50 000 words in just one short month. It’s crazy, and yet it is also quite efficient, since the short time frame and the support of other participants really make it seem possible (and it is – in 2008 more than 21 000 participants managed to complete the task). Last year many of my blogging friends, including several members of the Burrow (my writing group, which I am sure by now most of you know all about) participated. A few of them proved that it is possible to write a novel in one month. Some proved that participating in NaWhatWasIt was the kick-start they needed to finish a novel shortly thereafter. And some of us proved that November really is a sucky month to try to achieve the impossible; especially if you are working in retail where the holiday season in crazy as it is, if you are working in or taking any kind of education where November often is terribly busy because of pending exams, and especially especially if you are doing both (yours truly). I never finished my NaNoWiP in November, and it’s been hanging around on my hard drive ever since, feeling sulky and abandoned.

Since the Burrow experienced a certain amount of success in last year’s NaNoI’mNotGonnaTryToThinkOfMoreCleverWaysOfSpellingItFromNowOn, it was suggested that we should try to host our own novel writing month. After all, if it is possible to write a whole novel during one month, in theory you should be able to write eleven more that year, right…? While twelve-a-year might be a stretch, a second one-month-written novel should definitely be possible to achieve. And since we’re the ones hosting it, we get to decide when. June was much more convenient for several of us, and so it was decided. We even made our own catchy name (with a few elements borrowed from the original) – BuNoWriMo.
To make the experience even more fun (if you can call giving labour to an elephant fun, which is the best comparison I have at the moment to how momentous the idea of writing anything at all feels, after having struggled with this ruddy chapter for way too long) and rewarding (after all, who wouldn’t want to become an author – I am sure they all make as much money as Dan Brown) – (I just completely killed that sentence and impossibilized ending it in the fashion I had planned... Let me try again…)

To make the experience even more fun and rewarding we are inviting others. That is right, others, that means you! There are not a lot of rules (the normal NaNoHingISaidIWouldn’tDoThisAgain rules apply, except that we’re starting June 1st and finishing on June 30th. We’re not terribly strict on rules, though, as will be clarified below). The only unabandonable rule is that you have to have a Facebook account to participate, as we figured making a separate message board/website/physical-access-point-equally-easily-accessible-from-anywhere-in-the-world was too much of a hassle. Thus we are doing all the motivational group dances and such from the BuNoWriMo Facebook Group. Anyone can join, but we are at the moment asking people to request invites to make sure that the organizational phase goes as smoothly as possible (actually, it is so that we can be sure that Stephenie Meyer doesn’t join. Just kidding. No, I’m not. I think I am). This means that you kind of have to have a Facebook account to participate, but I don’t think it means you have to be/become our Facebook friend (though you can, if you want to. I’m trying to be inclusive here…). One suggestion from Tami over at Confessions of a Watery Tart is that you create a pen name Facebook account if you don’t want to mix your personal profile with your secret novel writing alias (or, you know, if you are Stephenie Meyer).

Finally, if you’re thinking that you’re not up for writing a whole novel in June, or if you are wishing that you instead of being asked to start a new project could just get some motivation to finish an old one, this is also the place for you. We love our rebels in the Burrow, and just as NaNoNoNoStop!Please! offers a route for those who just want to join in but not stick to the rules, so do we. Personally I struggle with finishing things, not beginning them. So I thought this might be a good opportunity to finish last year’s NaNoSeriouslyNotDoneYet?WorkInProgress. I’m starting at 15 000 words. If I end at 65 000 that would be awesome, but I would be very happy if I touch the 50 000 mark as well. Frankly, I’d be happy to get anything written at all. I’m hoping that the community spirit, the locked time frame and the brief pause from my thesis might be just what I need to get cracking.

So, have I convinced you yet? If you, or someone you know, or even Stephenie Meyer, have a desire to join in on the fun (and stress and panic and anger and sleeplessness and back pains and caffeine addiction), contact me or any of the other Burrow members with your Facebook account name, and an invitation shall be sent in your general direction.

The BuNoWriMo logo is designed by Joris Ammerlaan, who can be reached at "jorisammerlaan at gmail dot com"


Leanne said...

*snort* I crashed as badly as you did, dearie, also having the double-whammy of education and retail. So yeah, people, come and join the party, we have, at last check, kegs, nudity, some alots (if you want to know what they are you have to join ;-) ) and a whole bunch of nutters who really are going to cough up a whole lotta words. :-)

Tundiel said...

Who are you calling a nutter? *snort*

Great post, Mari - reminded me of your Voldemort short (that 66 names one). In fact, I think I may have to go find it and read it again....

Cruella Collett said...

Leanne - I'm gonna dedicate this reply to alots, because I love them alots, though I think it requires alot of responsibility to unleash them on the BuNoWriMoFBGroupThingie, so it is alot of good thinking to also mention where they come from (because, unlike babies, alots cannot be explained by a stork).

Tara - Oh, that's right, I had almost forgotten about The Dark Pore. Yeah, I like to do that (alot). *giggles*

Clarissa Draper said...

Thank you for all your help. I'm going to take one of your pics and paste it on the side bar of my blog. That way I can announce I joined and hopefully encourage others too.


Cruella Collett said...

Clarissa - glad to help :) And thanks for plugging us - we are thrilled to have so many people on board (I think it was only about a week ago we had the discusson whether we were going to ask maybe one or two friends outside the group to participate, and now look at us... The response has been amazing!)

Watery Tart said...

*snort* Tara, I was thinking the same thing! 66 ways to insult whats his face... BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, I love it when you do that, Mari!

*embraces nutterness*

Ketutar said...

Can you watch too much HIMYM? It IS legen... er. hrm.
Yes, I'm eagerly waiting for BuNo too, even though I was reminded of its existence only today. Like 10 minutes ago, today. Nevertheless, the best thing since sliced bread, or something like that. :-)
Burrow rocks and all you burrowers seem to be amazing people :-)

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