It’s nearly time. In the same way it was impossible to think that I never run a half marathon, it’s impossible to think that I could ever write a novel.

But that’s the genius thing about training for marathons and Nanowrimo – they don’t expect you to do the whole thing on the first day.

One mile to start a half marathon. 1667 words a day to start a novel. And 30 days you’re done.

Watch the whole sordid mess unfold here.

There. I said it. The elevator pitch for my novel. That starts at midnight tomorrow (Friday, 12 am CST) for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

Ulysses. Set in the suburbs. My shameless aping of Joyce’s hyper-dense love letter to Dublin, an unfaithful wife, and a life of the mind.

What happens when a middle-aged man rolls out of bed, goes to work, comes home and goes back to bed? What does he read? What does he think about? What the fuck am I thinking? No idea.

I just know that NaNoWriMo forces participants to make the worst kind of vow. A commitment to discipline. A promise to spread the briliiance over 30 days.  

In reality, taking the approach of writing a picaresuqe, might serve a bigger purpose.  I’ve been dragging pieces of stories around in my mind for the last 25 years. Remnants of uncompleted stuff from college. A setting. A dialogue snatch overheard on an airplane.  And realistically, all those pieces are taking up room that needs to be cleared out.

I’ll be trying something equally ambitious here … blogging the experience. It’s going to be a wretched display of self-loathing and overinflated sense of the Self. Possibly with footnotes.

Watch what happens.

Just saying it aloud feels fake.

“I’m going to write a novel in November." 

But time, creative antsyness and a college classmate’s debut novel all conspired to make me hit nanowrimo.org and commit myself, with thousands of others, to creating a 50,000-word novel.

Without spending too long thinking about it, I can imagine that there a few things I’ll need to set aside for the month if I’m to create the mental and horological headroom needed to crank out 1600 words a day.  On top of the writing I already do at work.

But I’m already thinking about affirmations that will help me steer clear of the distractions and focus on what’s really important.

Among those things:

  1. Goodbye endless Facebook lurking. Affirmation: My friends will not become more exciting in the month of November. Neither, for that matter, will I.
  2. Goodbye endless Flipboard flipping. Affirmation: There is no tech or Apple-related news I won’t hear over and over again when I get to work the next day.
  3. Goodbye endless out-of-tune-singing-of-Radiohead-songs with my ukulele. Affirmation: I may be creeeeeeep and a loooooooseeer-er-er, but singing about it won’t really do much more than distress the cats.
  4. Goodbye endless re-arranging of apps on my iPhone. Affirmation: There is no ideal arrangement of apps, and I am comfortable with that.

Who knows how this will play out. But I want it clearly noted that I didn’t undertake this journey flippantly. I think it’s going to be like training for a marathon. Only I don’t can’t increase my caloric intake to 4500 calories a day and not end up looking like Jabba the Hutt.