Friday, 30 December 2011

NaSoWriMo? Not-So-Rhyme-O!

In November, my good friend Don't Feed the Pixies and I had a crack at NaNoWriMo 2011, and duly churned out a 50,000 word ‘novel’ each.

I now, of course, have to go back and turn into something vaguely readable the steaming pile of brain-vomit that I produced.

Before that, however, let’s look at this month’s whacky challenge, as proposed by the Pixie himself:

write 10-12 brand new songs in a month.

Taking the lower number as our target, this equates to 1 song every 3.1 days; if you take the higher, it’s more like 1 song every 2.6 days. So even aiming for the higher target, you get a nice leisurely two-and-a-half days to write each song.

A song’s only going to be a few hundred words at the most.

Compare this with the 1,667 words you need to get done each day to complete the novel-writing challenge.

Easy-peasy then.



Yes and no.

I started off quite well as I had quite a few bits of songs and music ideas I’d been mucking about with for ages. The pressure of the deadline helped me turn these fragments into completed songs – not particularly good ones, necessarily, but complete. Using the NaNo idea of just get the thing written down and worry about the quality later paid off once again, as I now how some completed things that can be polished.

Also, all the frantic tugging on the frayed ends of a few musical ideas somehow drew out two whole shiny new songs, which wrote themselves very quickly. I haven’t managed to write any new songs for months, so this was an unexpected and welcome bonus.

As if this wasn’t enough, the drive spilled over into completing the Twelve Days of Christmas series that I first started way back in 2001, and kept promising to complete every year since then. Again, there was something about having to come up with a post every day for thirteen days that seemed to fuel the thing to completion.

Pixie and I are hoping to play our creations to each other for the first time tomorrow night as part of our New Year’s Eve festivities.

As of now, I have just over 24 hours to pen 2 more songs to make the minimum target.

I have to say that, although I’m actually part way through both the 2 remaining songs, I’m struggling to complete them.

I got nothing.

I’ll come back to them later tonight and again tomorrow.

Thing is, even if I don’t complete them, this has been a truly worthwhile challenge for me. There is clearly a little bit of my brain that thrives on deadlines – even if it’s just a bit of fun between friends

I think my New Year’s Resolution for 2012 will not be about giving up stuff, but rather about adding things to my life.  I'd like to try and create something new each month in 2012.

If anybody has any ideas for a creativity-based monthly challenge, please leave a comment.

In any case, here's wishing you all...
A very Happy 2012
from me
all the voices in my head.


  1. i really like that idea - sounds like a good meme perhaps?

  2. Ooh - you guys should make a CD & send it to ME! Ha!

    I like deadlines too - but unfortunately they have to be REAL ones where I'd get in trouble if I didn't comply.

  3. Are you writing music and lyrics for these songs? I wouldn't know where to begin! (And my husband says I'm singing-impaired.)

  4. Niamh - a challenge meme? Interesting.

    Bug - we will try to record our efforts at some point.

    Eva - yes, words, music, the works! I bet your singing is fine.

  5. Good on you! And I'm sure your songs are pretty amazing and I'm just off to read the twelve days of christmas posts that I missed. Have a great and creatively productive new year, all the best things :)

  6. After my experience with nanowrimo, I learned that forced art is usually shit. However, it is helpful to use a hardline goal to help you get a feel for your own natural creative routine. Or maybe that's just the whiskey talking.

  7. Watercats - cheers and all the best to you for 2012!

    Beer for the Shower - my NaNo is indeed a turkey, but is at least something I can work on now. The whiskey talks sense.

  8. Churning out songs is great fun. A friend and I used to meet and play together once a week - we always tried to come up with a new song for the occasion. The fact that some were no good and ended up in the bin didn't stop s having a great time. Quite often did the newspaper thing - scanning up and down for word combinations, phrases, anything just to get going.

  9. The interesting thing is that the creative spurt has continued - two more new songs have appeared in the last few days. It's really great to have a 'buddy' for things like this.


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