Student takes novel writing project to epic new lengths
By Sharon Miki, Humour Editor
As aspiring writers and professional procrastinators hurry their tired metacarpals towards the end of November’s NaNoWriMo month-long novel-writing project, one Douglas College student is bravely embarking on what she believes is a far superior version of the event: NaNoWriDecade—or National Novel Writing Decade.
“I mean, I thought about doing the whole NaNoWriMo thing this year, but I don’t feel it would be fair to the integrity of my novel, Saving Kim Kardashian, to rush it like that. But I still want that sense of community and that deadline that people get from NaNoWriMo, so I thought this was a great compromise,” said 29-year-old Douglas College student, Erin Yoshida.
NaNoWriMo is a yearly novel-writing event where professional and amateur writers come together to brag incessantly about their typographical superiority while frantically trying to type out 50,000 loosely related words. Yoshida’s NaNoWriDecade expands on the basic NaNoWriMo concept, giving writers a timeline of 10 years to complete some sort of 50,000-word draft.
“Anyone can write 50,000 words in a month,” explained Yoshida. “But not everyone has what it takes to write 50,000 words over 120 months.”
Yoshida, who has tried and failed to complete a sellable manuscript approximately five or six times—depending on how you look at it—cites her writer friends as a major inspiration for her movement.
“I got the idea towards the end of November, when all of my friends that were participating in NaNoWriMo started panicking about their word counts and talking about how the most important thing was getting the words down on paper,” said Yoshida. “Well, if that’s the most important thing, then it shouldn’t matter when I finish, right?”
Yoshida’s idea comes as a brave alternative to projects like NaNoWriMo, which favour those who benefit from time privilege.
“Not all of us were born with the inherent advantages of being able to finish things that we start in a reasonable amount of time,” explained Yoshida.
Beyond the social and political advantages of the program, Yoshida also stresses the one major benefit of her NaNoWriDecade over the more pedestrian NaNoWriMo:
“Also, if I give myself a decade, I don’t really have to start worrying about hitting my word count until like summer 2024.”