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50,000 a Tribute to the Journey of Writing a Novel in One Month By Tam Frager

50,000 a Tribute to the Journey of Writing a Novel in One Month is a unique book and one that has given me a lot of enthusiasm for writing again which I did not expect.  When I first started to read this book I thought why on earth would someone just publish this?  It seemed like a bunch of letters of thanks for some guy who had started what sounded like the most insane and stupid event I had ever heard of and was now leaving the event and was being thanked for getting something that had apparently turned into a world wide phenomena in order to pursue more dreams and adventures.  Why bother to publish all these letters?  Sure some were touching and heartwarming but still.  I continued to read on though and eventually I found myself having these same insane and stupid ideas and remembered a sense of purpose I had felt during the same kind of insane and stupid events I had attended in the past and I was really glad I had picked up this little book.

The book is a collection of letters thanking Chris Batey, the creator of an event called National Novel Writing Month where thousands if not millions of people from around the globe attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in just ONE month.  Crazy right?  I write (one reason I was drawn to the book) and laughed at the thought that anyone could write 50,000 words in a month and even if they did I couldn’t imagine it being more than a bunch of rubbish anyway.  But then I saw this was a serious event.  No, people WERE accomplishing 50,000 words in a month and sometimes even more!  And wait, what’s this?  Maybe they WERE rubbish but at least they had written and then I thought of all the stories I had without endings.  Maybe this event was worth looking into.

And I imagine that is what the book is about.  I have never heard of National Novel Writing Month prior to picking up this book and now I want to know about it.  I want to go to a “Write In” event, and I want to sign up to write 50,000 words this November because who knows what is going to happen!  Some of the writers of these letters were pulled back from suicide attempts, some found true love, some overcame anxiety (I’m also in that club) to go to group meetings, and some just discovered they liked picking up the pen again.  Reading these letters told me everything I wanted to know about the National Novel Writing Month event and know that I want to be a part of them this year.  I also thank the letters writers for letting us into some of their personal spaces to tell us about this event.  The letters were truly touching and sincere and whoever this Chris Batey guy is should be pretty stoked that he got to be a part of these writers stories and make such a huge impact on a field he loves.

I remember back in college I had the pleasure of attending a conference where we were to put together our proposals for advocacy events in our area and we stayed up all night in Chicago the final night putting mission and vision statements together along with outlines for milestone completion and a write up of what the final event would look like.  The city was still alive even in the dark as we dimmed the lights and put music on and grabbed coffee and donuts.  It was one of the most fulfilling and exciting times of my life and this book made me remember it because it instilled those feelings in me again.  I can’t wait to go look at the website.  I want to host some write ins with my friends who write and get involved in this movement as soon as possible even though it’s only going into May as I write this.  What a clever way to draw people into this group as well as pay tribute to the founder!

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