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No alcohol November

Updated on November 26, 2016

My usual writing buddy

How I imagined NaNoWriMo
How I imagined NaNoWriMo | Source

Writing a novel requires a lot of help

I had been mulling over a vague idea for a novel, for a couple of years, and then stumbled upon the National Novel Writing Month challenge. 50,000 words in 30 days...

The challenge is often refered to by its acronym, 'NaNoWriMo'. I signed up for the 'NaNoWriMo' the day before it began, as I had just found out about it the previous night.

Preparation for this mammoth task can take many forms. People talk of stocking up on tea, coffee, chocolate biscuits and othe such commonly known aids, conducive to writing novels. I smiled benevolently to myself, reading these lovely posts about people preparing for the November challenge...but I had other plans. The secret to my success would be!

A few bottles of wine

I must admit I'm partial to a little drop of the old 'vino' and here in Spain, the Rioja red wine is particularly good. I stocked up on a few bottles of 'crianza' to get me through the first 5,000 words and then looked round to see what else would be helpful to my writing. What would really give me that clarity of mind to pen wonderful sentences and invent intriguing characters and events? What would I need to be able to succeed with this writing marathon?

I eyed up that bottle of Rioja. It winked back at me...I gave it another quick glance. It shuffled towards me a little more. And then it occurred to me. If I was wanting to be successful with this challenge, I was going to have to have all my wits about me. I was going to have to be smart, eloquent, persuasive, interesting, witty, intelligent, thoughtful, clever, sensitive, intriguing, and a whole lot of other very positive adjectives like that. Question: Will those bottles of red wine help me to be all of those things? I knew deep down what the true answer would be.

At that point I had the famous eureka moment. What if I take on another challenge, a parallel challenge. Would I be able to embrace the challenge of giving up alcohol completely for November and really commit to writing 50,000 words?

My new writing buddy


Alcohol free

It hasn't been easy. I struggled badly for the fist two weeks, but the creativity I felt and the amount of words I was able to write made up for the discomort. I felt so very focused on my project, that eventually I forgot completely about that old writing buddy I used to have.

Unfortunately all those chocolate biscuits are starting to make their appearance felt in other places rather than just on the plate. I will deal with that later!

And so here you have me, on 26th November, 26 days free of alcohol for the first time in a very long time, and 42,000 words on my way to success, I hope.

I have 8,000 words left to write. That will be no problem, because I am clear-minded, determined and focused on my goal.

Thanks to the NaNoWriMo for giving me this opportunity to create something new, and to be someone different.

After November?

What will happen after November? I don't know, and I don't want to think about it too much at the moment. I just want to stay completely on my goal and get through the two challenges I set myself. As I'm approaching the last week of November, I admit that I am now starting to get a little anxious. It has been like being in a protective cocoon, having the November novel to as a great distractor.

I don't know now which of the two challlenges has meant more to me, and from which one I will learn more.


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    • Glenis Rix profile image


      23 months ago from UK

      I rarely drink alcoholic beverages nowadays - high day and holidays only, and not always then. Did you know that alcohol is linked to at least seven forms of cancer? I did know about NanoWriMo but sadly lack of booze hasn't improved my creativity, so I swerved the challenge.

    • marieryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Ryan 

      23 months ago from Andalusia, Spain

      hello billybuc,

      I'm learning a lot this November!

      Did you ever hear of this National Novel Writing Month? This is the first time I had heard of it.

      Thanks for passing by. Regards. Marie.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I gave up alcohol ten years ago. In the last six years I've written ten novels. For me those two facts are definitely related.

      Best wishes on your novel.


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