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Morning, friends! I think it’s time to reveal our secret, no?

You ready?


(Okay, it’s possible I’ve hyped this up a bit).

(Wait, I already gave away the surprise in the title of the post…)

(Whatever. I’m going for it anyway).

This year, Keely and I have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month! NaNoWriMo is a 30-day endeavour where writers all over the word commit to writing a novel (from start to finish) in the month of November. (Yikes, right?)

They suggest a goal of 50 000 words, so this averages to 1667 words per day. The idea is that (if you’re a planner) all your story prep is complete before the first of November, so that when you finally sit to write you are looking at a skeleton of chapter-by-chapter notes of your novel—and thank goodness for that…I think I’d die otherwise. Writing for the sole purpose of the getting the story out of your head and onto paper (with minimal self-editing) means that the real work will start when November is over.

Oh, and also, we’ve altered it slightly for Keely (a screenwriter extraordinaire!). She will have to write 120 pages throughout the month, at an average of 4 pages per day.

Here are a few reasons why I’m kind of, a little bit (okay A LOT) terrified for NaNoWriMo:

  1. I’m a perfectionist. Writing to get the words down and not self-editing and/or dwelling will probably be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
  2. Under 1700 words doesn’t sound so bad, but I’m already dreading mid-November when I’d rather pull my hair out of my head or throw my computer out the window than write another line. I’m an in-advance worrier.
  3. I’ll desperately miss my hair and my computer if the worst happens.
  4. What if I legitimately hate my novel by November 10th? Pushing myself to keep going will be an utter nightmare.
  5. I already get a bad case of cabin fever when I stay in my apartment too long. Either I go absolutely insane within these four walls, or I break my bank account with the amount of writing sessions I have at coffee shops. Is there an option C?
  6. There are more – OF COURSE there are more – but you’re a little bored now, yeah? So I’ll move on.

Basically, I’m trying not to panic.

While we embark on this crazy adventure, our presence may be slightly lax over here at We Have Arts Degrees. So instead of our traditional two posts a week, we will jointly blog on Wednesdays. This should be pretty entertaining—not because you’re dying to hear about our (potentially boring) NaNoWriMo exploits—but because I have 5 years worth of proof that when Keely and I work/study/generally try to accomplish too much together in a short amount of time our brain capabilities tend to regress. So you folks may be in for a treat…

Here’s a calendar I found online at migatory.deviant.com that perfectly illustrates the 8-year-old mindset I fully suspect our brains to fall into as we plough through this monster of a project… I personally like November 9th. Also, check out the super scary word count tracker in the bottom right corner of each day.


Sigh. What one does for their art…

(Please pretend I didn’t say that).

So every week during the month of November, we will be posting our progress at the end of each blog. The more people we’re accountable to, the better. So here’s what our stats look like at the moment…

Keely: 0/110 pages

Ashley: 0/50 000 words

Okay, now I’m starting to panic.

Wish us luck, artsies!


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