According to Wikipedia:
NaNoWriMo is an annual internet-based creative writing project which challenges participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel between November 1 and 30.
A number of people I know have done this in previous years my friend Dan Lynch even wrote a song about it:
(I may have once mercilessly reworded/hacked about this song to reference a different “nano”!)
I considered doing it this year – it’d be an interesting challenge and I’ve had a few bursts of enthusiasm about writing a book in the past, that have quickly gone elsewhere when I looked at what was involved.
The fictional styles I like – Cory Doctrow’s Little Brother voice – hyper realistic dystopian sci-fi, I don’t really feel I need or want to try to copy, and the Gerald Durrell My Family And Other Animals-style autobiography of gentle humorous anecdotes, also doesn’t really need a poor imitation.
I don’t “live” fictional worlds inside my head or imagine stories, and so I’ve no real desire or motivation to write anything fictional, and there are very few non-fictional things that I feel deserve 50,000 words of attention.
Right now, there’s no subject I wish to consider writing about in that detail, so this time, I’m going to let everyone else steam on with their novels, whilst I do something else. I think NanoWriMo is probably most helpful to people who are intimidated by the idea, or have a book almost ready to go, or think about things they’d like to write about in depth all the time, but never seem to sit down and get on with it.
Now there are things that I do always seem to have in my head, but never sit down and write, but they’re not novels, they’re blog posts. I currently have over 60 part-finished blog posts, ranging from just a working title with a link to an article I want to write about, to completely written posts that are waiting on another post (providing context) to be finished before they can be published.
With 60 unfinished blog posts in varying stages of completion, it should not be difficult, I’m going to attempt to clear the number of half written posts by at least half over the next 30 days.
The posts that linger in my drafts are generally the ones requiring the most thought, the most reflection, the most sanity checking – if I get 30 posts out during November, I’ll be really pleased.
Let’s see how it goes!
I recently read the article on BoingBoing about the Hachette publisher being upset that some of it’s authors who were also using the Tor publisher in different territories, would be releasing their works DRM-free.
I also saw some defence that stated that “the Hachette sales strategy with DRM works really well”.
Let me explain why I don’t think that DRM is a long term solution.
If you model this media market against the first days of the ipod/itunes store:
When people buy into the “device and store” idea, they’re ambivalent about DRM because it doesn’t really affect them.”
As commodity devices emerge and people are able to buy ~£30 no name devices that more or less, just work, then the consumers start to find DRM a significant barrier to painlessly consumpting media and may acquire media from “other” sources. (The commodity devices without DRM will be cheaper than commodity devices with DRM).
Once a sizeable market is regularly circumventing the DRM, either with software or acquiring the content from other sources
At the point when a significant audience exists with commodity devices which don’t support DRM who are unable to legitimating consume the media they want, publishers can make a decision about whether the benefits they see in DRM, are worth not monetising the market on commodity devices…
At that point, many publishers will point out that DRM costs them money and inconveniences their consumers.
Unfortunately, from a PR point of view, this means that early adopters of commodity devices are always going to feel the publishers are being obstructive, whilst the publishers go after the largest slice of the market at that point in the emerging market.
In my opinion, the key to DRM-free media, is a large number of people using commodity devices, that don’t support it.
What you’re seeing on Boing Boing is that Tor’s readers are generally early adopters of commodity technology, whilst Hachette’s are still more tied into the “one device, one brand, one store” ideology. I’d guess that, as that changes, so will their stances on DRM.