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Saturday, October 23, 2010

I've seen 108 patients this week, photographed 216 eyes, used 5 boxes of tropicamide and handed out 300 tissues. I've made a lot of people cry. All of which hasn't left much time for blogging. Generally, by the time I get home from work, my eyes are more bloodshot than my patients'. But as ridiculous as it may sound, I'm considering taking on even more. For a few weeks at least.

NaNoWriMo 2010November is National Novel Writing Month, an annual insanity invitational where you have to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I took part in 2004 and produced the considered work of genius that is Mirkin Topp and the Hair of the Dog. I really ought to get around to finishing that sometime.

But despite such unparalleled success, I've never revisited the shores of NaNoWriMo. In November 2004 I was in the blissful position of being unemployed. I only saw Lisa at the weekends. And Amelie hadn't even been invented. Life was a lot simpler back then. So writing 2,000 words a day wasn't difficult. Although it seemed it at the time.

These days I've got a lot more on my plate. Which explains why I've put on so much weight. But I've always had that yearning to take part again, and despite being busier than I've ever been in my life, I'm tempted to take the plunge this year. Although ask me again in a week's time, and I might have changed my mind.

Got the T-shirtIn 2004 I went there, did that and got the t-shirt. And I still have my winner's certificate on the wall. But to be honest I didn't really play by the rules. The official NaNoWriMo blurb says this:

"Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality."

It continues...

"Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap."

Unfortunately I struggled with that bit. The point of NaNoWriMo is that "by forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forego the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down". But because I had more time than most people, I aimed a bit higher and missed that point. You're supposed to ignore your inner editor and just churn. I sat there trying to be witty. I did make the whole thing up as I went along, but I also tried to make it good.

So this time I'm throwing caution to the wind and embracing the crapulous. If I'm going to have any chance of completing NaNoWriMo whilst working full time and raising a toddler, then crap is the only way to go. It'll do me good not to rewrite a sentence six times before hitting 'publish'.

By a happy coincidence, the annual Tacheback event, in which I triumphed in 2007, has moved from September and now takes place in November too. I suggested to Lisa that I could write 50,000 words whilst growing a moustache for charity, but sadly she threatened me with divorce. She can cope with bloodshot eyes, but she draws the line at Saddam Hussein.


Gorilla Bananas said...

I've heard that writers with moustaches tug them frequently to stimulate their creative juices. Pity your wife won't let you grow one.

A passer-by said...

It should be easy this time.  For a title how about "Six Scintillating Months in the Life of a Brilliant Blogger (April-September 2010) - An Autobiography".   And put together a series of blog-posts, (my word counter says there are 541 words in todays blog) so you'll end up with a work of genius! (and first prize?) 

Phil's Mum said...

Let me just say this - I am NOT looking after Amelie for the whole of November - much as I love her!!!

Would you like our Christmas lists now, so you can do all your shopping before the end of October?

Dave said...

Two birds, one stone - why don't you try finishing Mirkin Topp?

Phil said...

I can't remember what it's about.

Phil said...

No need - you'll all be getting copies of my novel.

Dave said...

It's a cross between lord of the Rings and Discworld.

Phil said...

It sounds great! Where can I buy a copy?

Dave said...

I'd like one for my Kindle.