“Sometimes a story has no end.”
Happy National Novel Writing Month, everyone! Earlier this month, Denzel wrote a fantastic piece on the basics of NaNoWriMo, er—ahem—#NaNoWriMo that provides a fantastic introduction to those of you unfamiliar with this month-long exercise in sanity. Celebrated across the United States for the entire month, NaNoWriMo is one of those events that appears just as terrifying as it actually is. Fifty thousand words?! That’s a remarkable amount of work for a single month.
But I suppose that’s the appeal, isn’t it? At the end of 30 painstaking days, you have a novel in front of you.
But then what? What becomes of those fifty thousand words? What do you do when December 1st rears it cold, ugly head and all you have to show for the month is a word document with countless unusable passages and multiple grammatically questionable sentences. What becomes of all your worrying, second-guessing, and coffee-fueled temper tantrums because that guy two tables down just will not stop tapping his foot to the beat of a song you can hear above the roar of the café you’re sitting in?
For most of us: nothing. Nothing will happen to that manuscript.
Nothing will come from our hard work.
No one will ever read our words and share their thoughts.
Nobody will care what happened to what’s her name or what path that one guy chose.
And you know what? That’s just fine.
At the end of the month, you’re sitting high and mighty on a mountain of text that you created! That you gave life to! That you cut from your being and poured on to pages and pages and pages! And that? That is pretty damn cool.
But I gotta say: some of us just don’t have a story in us…not yet, anyway. And that’s okay too! Fifty thousand words is a staggering figure. For those that just don’t have the time, the energy, or the ability to pound out a novel this month, I’m offering an alternative that I have been utilizing instead: read five novels instead of writing your own!
I don’t think I have a novel in me, not at 24. One day? Certainly. But not now. But I do love to read and enjoy a good challenge, so why not read more than a book a week rather than write one of my own?
And this is where I need your help, dear reader! I’ve made it through my first two books, but I need help choosing the 5th and final book of the month!
1. We Are Water by Wally Lamb
2. The Infatuations by Javier Marias
3. Call Me By My Name by Andre Aciman
4. Doomed by Chuck Palahniuk
5. ???????? by ????????
So, who has a suggestion? My designer colleague, Colleen Dolphin, suggested that I read something “happy.”
Who’s got a book for me?!