Sunday, November 8, 2009

Once upon a time (specifically, October 2005) I heard about National Novel Writing Month, in which a bunch of crazy people attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Because I was studying abroad at the time, and everyone knows that you're not supposed to study when you're studying abroad, I decided to participate. I spent a few days coming up with ideas. At work--which was a bar at the time--I scribbled character details on napkins and coasters. When November 1st rolled around, I was ready.

Unfortunately, my laptop got stolen on November 12th and that was the end of that.

In 2007 I tried again. November also happened to be The Month In Which I Was Taking the GRE, Applying To Grad Schools, and Applying for A Fulbright Scholarship, and after writing three pages I gave up in favor of doing those other things. Again, not a very successful attempt.

Finally, in 2008, I had my game face on. This time I was going to superglue my laptop to my desk. And back up my work at the end of every day. And say NO to any complicated applications and exams that came along. This time, I was going to finish.

And...I did! I wrote 52,000 words in 30 days and it felt AWESOME.

This year I'm trying again, even though I'm a full-time graduate student. I may not have time to earn money or eat or sleep, but doggone it, I'm going to hit that 50,000 word mark. So far I'm ahead of schedule and I'm loving my story.

The point of this post is actually to beg you (whomever you may be) to donate money to the Office of Letters and Light, which is a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy. It also keeps NaNoWriMo and Script Frenzy running so that 100,000 crazy people can try to write a novel every November. Any novelist who raises $200 for the organization is invited to the Night of Writing Dangerously on November 22nd. I would like to go, and that's where the begging for money part comes in.

If you'd like to donate, please go here. Any contribution will be appreciated. If you donate enough, I'll even dedicate my novel to you! (I probably won't let you read it though.)