Right, I’m going to do it.

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In a bid to shift a bunch of assorted notebook writings that look like they should be doing something more coherent, this November The Mortal Bath is undertaking National Novel Writing Month.

National Novel Writing Month is also called NaNoWriMo, for brevity and hashtags’ sake, I suppose. There’s #NaBloPoMo from and for BlogHer writers as well. This wordcrush phenomenon is a bit Teletubbies, in some ways, and I can’t stop thinking of Chief Wiggum and the hounds.

Oh, you know. NaNoWriMo is sort of a writer support group raising money for charitable writing projects, which is fair enough, although it could be seen, uncharitably, as another of a growing number of ‘something to do for the month’ forced jolly charity annoyances. One might bristle at the thought of doing Movember simultaneously.

Also, while I’m carping, I could happily go through life never having to receive an email purporting to be from “Your Novel” suggesting it has a hot date for “Us” on a Saturday.

It looks like you're trying to be a serious writer for once. Shall I introduce some personification to make it e a s i e r for you?

It looks like you’re trying to be a serious writer for once. Shall I introduce some personification to make it e a s i e r for you?

Just like that. Still! There’s nothing like a deadline. I recall reading that Anthony Burgess, at the age of 41, thought he had a terminal illness, so set himself a target of about 2,000 words a day of ‘good copy’, to get out a million words, 10 100,000-word novels, in a year.

“I was not able to achieve more than five and a half novels of very moderate size.”

And I may be misrecalling, but I think one of them was A Clockwork Orange. Almost certainly I’m unlikely to manage that, but I can at least state that the exercise beats playing Civ2 ’til 3am on a school night.

The Book seems to be actually going quite well, so far, although (in the grand tradition of distraction reading) I just saw this PD James BBC advice article thing about writing books, so, following Point 9:

I never talk about a book before it is finished and I never show it to anybody until it is finished and I don’t show it to anybody even then, except for my publisher and my agent. Then there is this awful time until they phone.

…that’s all I propose to say on the matter for now. Apart from me meh ma mo, me mu mah may.