Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Senior Editor Senor Ruiz was generous enough to allow me his blog as an outlet for a random quest of mine.

The Bureau of Aspiring Posers (BAP) contacted me the other day and informed me that, since I've averaged less than 5 pages of fiction over the past 5 years, I no longer qualify as a card-carrying member of the Wannabe Writers' Federation (WWF), pathetic or otherwise. The Bureau requests that I ask Mele and my mother to stop introducing me as a writer, instead of you know, someone who has failed to find a real career path or social identity. Since the label "Aspiring Writer" seems to be the only thing I had going for myself as a young adult, I'd rather not lose that status and instead become only judged by my actual profession. A horrifying thought.

If word count is the determining factor in quantifying my wannabe-ness, then it's the right time of the year for me to do something about it, what with NaNoWriMo on the horizon.

If you don't know what NaNoWriMo is (and I find it strange that so many people do know), it's a viral challenge to write 50,000 words of fiction in the month of November. For all intents and purposes, it's a horrible waste of your time and I am probably wasting your time right now, as you read this sentence. And this sentence. And the next paragraph. And more words to pad the word count...

I've done it before. The notebooks are still in my closet and they are embarrassing proof that I wrote 50,177 words in November 2005 about a noir-inspired detective trying to solve murder mysteries in a small Esperanto town full of vampires and gangsters. Until this moment I never realized how sad that actually is.

Five years of word count guilt later, after four years of believing I was better than NaNoWriMo, I'm going to try it again. Because I'm not better, because I'm not an aspiring writer anymore. I am posing as one, and this makes me almost as sad as the possibility that Detective Jack Scorpion might have been the height of my writing career.

But I'm doing it in October, because (1) I just haaave to be different don't I? (2) Mele is busy in October and it just works out better schedule-wise, and (3) I've got the itch now and November is a long ways away. (Hurry the hell up October, before it's too late.) I'm also upping the word count goal, because the number 50,000 - which would undoubtedly be a huge challenge to me and I have no idea what I am getting into - seems too attainable ever since I attained it.

I've decided on 63,000 words, because October is a day longer than November and 63 is one of my favorite numbers.

If the Editorial and Sartorial Alex continues to allow me blog access, I will post word-count updates here throughout Zach's Novel Writing Month. Don't worry, I won't give you long drawn-out descriptions of my characters and stories (like telling you now that I have a few short stories on the back-burner that I intend to cannibalize as start-up material for the "novel") since I know you aren't even reading this anymore. That said, good luck to me, and at least those images are pretty funny, aren't they?