Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The five stages of NaNoWriMo

Remember November 2005? (Actually, I don't particularly, but saying that ruins my rhetorical flourish.) It was a time of peace and sanity, or at any rate it was no more or less so than any other month of the year. Fastforward a year, and it's the momentous occasion of my first NaNoWriMo. Lo, November would never be the same for me again.

Using sophisticated algorithms, I have calculated the inevitable stages through which a NaNo participant must pass in the course of the exercise. Behold, the Five Stages of NaNoWriMo:

1. Anticipation
In the build-up to November, in the planning stages, or (if you've failed to plan) in the moments before you write the first sentence that comes into your head, you'll feel excitement writhing inside of you, and you just know that this year is It. This year will be The Big One, the novel so brilliant that someone from Penguin will read your excerpt on your NaNo profile and send you an email begging to be allowed to publish a work of such almighty genius. Savor this feeling; you won't get it again until this time next year.

2. Terror
May also strike in the planning stages, especially if you have no good ideas. Will definitely strike as you confront that blank page and realize that you could write literally anything. Seriously - "hammock pancake cheesecake folderol, bebop in the clown's competitive jugular" is probably a sentence in somebody's novel this year. What if you're reduced to that? Get used to this feeling. It will be your constant companion this month.

3. Exhilaration
Oh my God, this is IT! Inspiration is striking you like lightning at all hours of the night and day! You are the greatest writer the world has ever known, and this novel is the most scintillating work of literature ever conceived! Every sentence that flows from your fingertips is an ambrosial delight! Every new plot and character development is being emailed straight into your brain by God himself! This stage will not last very long.

4. Despair
Why are you wasting your time on this steaming pile of feces? You are the worst writer the world has ever known, and this novel is a suppurating pustule on literature's rear end. You will never write anything worthwhile. You are wasting an entire month, shirking your duties and biting your friends' heads off in an overcaffeinated frenzy, and all you have to show for it is the febrile drivelings of a witless dunderhead. You should just give up.

5. Insanity
Cheesecake folderol in the clown's bebop flibbertigibbet!!! Everybody's doing it!


  1. You, sir or madam, have made me laugh quite loudly.

    /hovering on the brink of stage 4
    //need more coffee

  2. And you, madam, have made the first ever comment on my blog. OMGWTFBBQ EXCITE! Thank you :)

  3. Here via the NaNo boards, and I love this. I've been in stage four since yesterday...