November 3, 2011

Forget NaNoWriMo. It's AcBoWriMo.

Charlotte Frost declares the first Academic Book Writing Month. (Hey, that's what I meant to do last August!)
We are going to wear comfy clothes, drink a lot of coffee, probably nap in our offices at strange hours and see how close we can get to writing 50 thousand words in one month. I know, it’s totally insane, there can surely only be a handful of academics who can actually turn out decent material in such a short space of time. 
It's 1,667 words per day. About 7 pages a day. You can do that! I've written as many as 15 pages a day though not for an entire month. I think 5 pages a day is doable for academics cranking out books. So why not 7 pages a day? Make a sport out of it. A contest.
There’ll be a hashtag for Twitter where anyone interested in participating – or indeed watching from afar – can talk about progress and share tips and ideas for speed reading/writing (#acbowrimo). And we’re also hoping there might be a write-in in our department or someone’s apartment where we gather people together for mutual support and literally write the night away. Maybe you fancy staging one too somewhere and Skyping us for solidarity?
I like the Occupy Wall Street vibe translated into productive individual work. Not that I could picture myself engaged in group writing. Or... no... maybe I could. I remember loving the "blogger dinners" we did back in 2005. 

(Sorry the photos on that post are not currently displaying. Apple changed up Mac.com — for which I paid over $100 a year — in a way the wrecked the photo URLs. I'll try to redo them today.)

31 comments:

cubanbob said...

Does CF really need that much verbiage for that amount of bullshit?

Freeman Hunt said...

The year I did NaNoWriMo, I started on Day 10 because I forgot that it was coming up. I finished.

AcBoWriMo sounds doable.

Scott M said...

I and a friend (seperate works) are participating this year. I had a decent outline to work with to start with, so I'm already 22000 words in.

Ann Althouse said...

@Scott Don't forget to spellcheck it!

traditionalguy said...

The great depression's occupants entertained themselves with dance marathons and flag pole sitters. This sounds like more of the same to me.

Scott M said...

No spell-checking necessary. It's all in Sandskrit.

LOL

One of the benefits of writing about something that's never existed is that you get to make up things...and then have to make sure you're spelling you're own made up word correctly (or...at least consistency).

Dumwi is supposed to be Dum'wi and Do'crok isn't Do'crock. I noticed last night that I hadn't been consistent across the work so far. And spent about a hour find-replace, double-check, second-guess, etc.

Frustrating!

It doesn't matter. Everyone dies in the end. If it's one thing I learned from reading GRRM, it's to mess with my protagonists intensely and constantly.

John said...

I write a fair amount but have never tried non-fiction.

When I was writing my Packaging Machinery text (now in pre-pub) I would go to Dunkin Donuts and have a big cup of coffee. I would generally write till my laptop battery went dead and felt unproductive if I wrote less than 1,000 words.

I crank out 500 word columns in about 30 minutes every month and 250 word KC Boxbottom Adventures in Packaging 2-3 at a time in less than an hour.

I do have to go back and edit and revise which takes additional time but not all that much.

So 1300 words a day? Piece of cake.

I have never found writing to be a problem. My biggest problem is finding a subject to write about 5-6 times a month

John Henry

Lucius said...

Don't get me wrong, I can understand the appeal of the Novel-in-a-Month thing. I'm still mulling, minute by minute, whether I can/should commit to a little November "erotic romance", just to, well--

And I *know* any *academic* work churned out like this would then later be double, double-checked and all.

But still--isn't this a tiny bit troubling? I mean, don't academics have enough trendy fads to keep them bopping as it is?

TosaGuy said...

Although I write that much at my work every day, I take weekends off.

Smilin' Jack said...

Because there just aren't enough crappy books in the world already.

edutcher said...

Sounds like the way I used to figure how much I'd have to write when I was given an assignment in high school.

10 words to a line, 20 lines to a page; how many words did he say?

Scott M said...

Because there just aren't enough crappy books in the world already.

Given the vivisection that's happening to the publishing industry, one could argue the "crappy" level is going to sky-rocket. Truth be told, that's exactly what the music industry feared when peer-2-peer destroyed (or very nearly) it's business model. Unlike the music industry, though, writing a book can be done by one person working solo with nothing in the way of technical expertise outside of typing and email skills. Music still requires a bit more.

Shanna said...

The year I did NaNoWriMo, I started on Day 10 because I forgot that it was coming up. I finished.

I had forgotten this was this month and am trying to decide if I should do it. We're only 3 days in.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

Have one requirement--they can only say true things, or...when it's shaky, they have to give probabilities (or attach chart, etc). That would filter out a great many academic wheezebuckets (whether in law, "social science", philosophy, etc)

Paul Zrimsek said...

For me, the hard part about organizing SuiNoWriMo has been recruiting a whole new batch of participants every year.

Crunchy Frog said...

Did everyone miss the caveat, "decent material"? Anyone can churn out recycled crap. What's hard is coming up with an original idea, and then having the patience and creativity to bring it to fruition.

My wife had every Nora Roberts book. There were about 3 1/2 discrete plots spread out over the whole catalogue. The names and locations changed, but the stories didn't. What the hell, it made her happy to read them, so there really was no point in my complaining about it. Can't say the fantasy stuff I read is all that different.

I'm still mulling, minute by minute, whether I can/should commit to a little November "erotic romance", just to, well--

I've had one going in my head for on about 10 years. I'll eventually write it down, probably once the kids are out of the house...

Mostly I write lyrics, usually in creative spurts when I'm depressed or stressed out about something.

Scott M said...

I'll eventually write it down, probably once the kids are out of the house...

I had the same crutch for a long, long time. I finally bumped into an old college friend who's got three novels in a series done that he's trying to sell. I told him my idea and he got very excited and basically stayed on me until I started actually writing it. Aside from NaNoWriMo, which is seperate, I'm trying to do 1000 edited per day on it. It tough, especially because of the kids, but I make the time. No "erotic romance" though...good lord, kill me now.

J said...

Wow, Scott-tard, like the Laverle Spencer of Smurfhouse! Who woulda thunk it.

Like the rest of the phonies here Im sure you don't know Ishmael from Ahab, S.

Scott M said...

Name your work, self-claimed professional editor and published author. Let's see it.

J said...

You can buy when it goes up on Amazon, Laverle-Squat, like the ordinary schmuck.

Scott M said...

You said you were published, bench pressor. Link to it.

J said...

Fuck off, joto

Don't prove jack to hayseeds

J said...

Especially hayseeds who write things like "I and a friend (seperate works)..."

Yuk yuk. Maybe first get that GED, Scott-Gomer before startin into yr Laverle-opus

Scott M said...

If you're not willing to back up what you say, don't bother trying to engage me. And yet you had the gall to call other people, without provocation, phonies.

Link to it, or I'll just assume it's just another in a long line of bullshit claims you've made.

Scott M said...

Hysterical. You fuck up punctuation just two lines back and, again, have the gall to question others...when you're not threatening people with phony legal action, I suppose I should add.

You're done, bigot.

PatCA said...

I think it's easier to write an academic book than a novel-all those footnotes and quotes and counter-quotes fill up the pages fast!

PatCA said...

I was going to do NaNoWriMo but doing the outline exhausted me. I'm kind of sick of it. How do I get my mojo back?

Scott M said...

How do I get my mojo back?

I'm in the same place. I've reach one of those proverbial walls.

Taking a walk, a jog, or hitting the bag always helps me, but I haven't had a chance to do any of that these past few days. If I got out for a walk or jog, though, I take the Droid X along with an app called Catch that basically acts like a digital recorder.

PatCA said...

Thanks, Scott. This guy's advice is pretty good too: So Sick of my Story.

So I'm just going to do it b/c I realized I am just as sick of worrying about being sick of my story as I am merely sick of my story.

Scott M said...

@Pat

I read a good book for writers recently that's easy to pick up and down because of the way it's organized. I got the physical exercise advise from it.

Do an amazon search for The Art Of War For Writers.