Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Accidental WriMo

For those who aren't already familiar with the genius that is NaNoWriMo, a "WriMo" is a person participating in National Novel Writing Month. And although she's not waiting until November to do it as part of the organized event,
I am fully aware of the raging battles between those who take pink books seriously and those who do not. This project seeks to sidestep that entire literary debate by being fun for its own sake. will be. She can't sidestep it. The vast majority of people who read about her efforts will probably not think, "wow, she loves the genre, it makes her happy, so she's going to just go for it and see what she can write in the little time she has available, and we should all think about similar ways to go for the gusto in our own lives." Nope. They'll think, "funny women writers are, I believe, the book world's greatest gift to 21st-century women" (damn straight!), and I appreciate her choices as to which plot traditions she hopes to embrace, and which she hopes to avoid or subvert.

And, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who has obscure legal texts next to mommy lit on her bookshelves...

You can follow along with Ms. Lithwick's efforts on her Saving Face Facebook page, and if you're new to my blog, you can click here to read my previous chick-lit genre rants.

Belated edit: Let me make clear that I don't think writing chick lit in a month is easy. Let me make clear that I don't think DAHLIA thinks it's easy. I simply fear that the publicity of the attempt will accidentally encourage people who don't get the genre to dump on it more. My actual feelings on the project are summed up by my hypothetical quote above: "wow, she loves the genre, it makes her happy, so she's going to just go for it and see what she can write in the little time she has available, and we should all think about similar ways to go for the gusto in our own lives."

And we shouldn't blame Dahlia for doing something cool, just because other people might misinterpret her efforts. Although I reserve the right to be a jealous harridan if she knocks it out of the park on her first try. Just sayin'.

Also, my own novel, as many of you know, started out as a NaNoWriMo project, which means I did the EXACT SAME THING by trying to write a chick lit book in a month. I failed on the time frame, but got it done eventually.


  1. Hi, Carrie! I'm amazed at how much time (and focus!) she has to be able to write on a blog, her regular job, and a chick lit book in a month. That will be really interesting!

  2. What really sucks is someone like that will get a book deal with no problem because she already has made a name for herself. So it won't matter if it's good or not...which will only degrade people's opinion of the genre more.

  3. i'm with stephanie. she'll have a book deal by the beginning of next year.

    The Character Therapist

  4. Obviously, part of me desperately wants to get an agent/book deal FIRST so that I don't appear to be just another chick-lit wanna-be writer/lawyer...

    But you know what, if she get a book deal, I'm all over it. First of all, lawyers as a general rule can't HELP but edit -- especially lawyers who clerked for judges like she and I did -- so I'm quite certain she's not going to throw a first draft out for instant publication or anything ridiculous like that.

    Second of all, she's a contributing editor at Newsweek and a senior editor at Slate, and often goes on NPR to talk about the Supreme Court's cases... she's smart and educated and informed, and I think that her fans by and large will also tend to be smart and/or educated and/or informed... in short, she's tapping into my demographic, with my genre. I don't think this can be a bad thing. HELP ME MAKE CHICK LIT POPULAR AGAIN! I THINK I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY, AND I WANNA GET PUBLISHED!


    Third of all... I love her attitude. She says, "I confess to being deeply uncomfortable. And also crazy excited." Doesn't that sound like a good place for a writer to start?

  5. My great fear is that this is the beginning of what Jeff Bezos promised would happen in the digital age, with writers being forced to share the artistic process with their readers online, and hypertext everywhere.

    I think if Lithwick's book is finished, it should not be published in print, as this would contradict the openness of the digital form that she is apparently embracing.