I really never intended to participate in National Novel Writing Month (their abbreviation: NaNoWriMo, mine: NaNo) this year. I had done it each of the past two years, and while it was generally a good experience, it was also an exhausting one.
And since this year I’m not only starting a new job, but I have a small ensemble of web design clients, I thought I’d take this year off, and just encourage my fellow writers over at Write Anything.
Fate had other ideas. As Halloween night ticked away, exhausted from walking the kids around the neighborhood in my Donald Duck costume, I fell asleep more quickly than normal.
And woke up 45 minutes later.
Unable to get back to sleep I picked up a blank journal I has purchased a few days earlier and one of my favorite rollerballs and thought I’d conjure up a good night’s sleep by writing about a guy who couldn’t sleep.
Six days later I’d slept about 6 hours—total—and had written a little more than 50k words.
Since then, the insomnia has waned a bit. I wouldn’t say I’m sleeping well, but I’m no longer a daytime zombie either. However, my production has waned as well. This weekend will probably be the last days I devote any time to NaNo this year, and I’ll likely wind up somewhere around 90k words.
But the big question…is what I wrote any good?
Yes and No. Starting as I did with no prep work, I had no illusions about the plot. It formed itself in a olive brainstorm, and it’s flaws are apparent. However, the character turned out pretty good, and there are some long passages that will be useful once rewritten. So I guess it turned out alright.
However, I don’t recommend severe sleep deprivation as a tool for tackling NaNo.