National Novel Writing Month

When I was growing up, I was forever writing little stories, and at school, my favourite class for French; essays, far from being a chore for me, were an opportunity to play with language, which I always loved, and exercise my imagination and my brain. As a translator, I sometimes wish I could escape the constraints and restrictions imposed on my writing by the very nature of my activity. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to write without the tyranny of a source document? To produce impossibly long sentences, to express myself in metaphors, be completely illogical and write about whatever I like, in a word, to be free?
From a professional point of view, it is also very important that I hone my writing skills, so I looked for a French writing course in Brighton, as I really like the idea of learning in a group environment. I didn’t find any, and was faced with the prospect of doing an online or distance course, which just didn’t excite me as much.
Then I was told about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Basically, the idea is to write a 50,000 word novel (that’s 1,600 words a day) between November 1st and November 30th. A crazy idea? Definitely! However, as the organiser of this event puts it: “Writing a novel in a month is utterly ridiculous, an undertaking for fools and those who don’t know any better. Thankfully, we belong to the latter camp, which makes us dangerously powerful writers. Liberated from the constraints of constructing a pretty and proper novel, we are free to run, naked and whooping, through the valleys of our imaginations.”
So I’ve registered on the website, along with four of my workmates, which I think will be crucial in terms of motivation. I’ll keep a word count on this blog, just so I’ve got an additional incentive to carry on writing!

By | 2016-10-18T15:50:44+00:00 November 1st, 2005|Freelance Translation|8 Comments

About the Author:

I am Céline Graciet, a freelance English to French translator. Since 2003 I’ve been writing on all sorts of areas linked to translation and the life of a translator.


  1. Jean November 1, 2005 at 1:30 pm

    Wow, good for you! Are you writing the novel in French or in English?
    As you’ve no doubt realised, you’ll find a lot of bloggers recounting their experience of NaNoWriMo, including one of my favourite bloggers, Lorianne of Hoarded Ordinaries, who’s blogging about it (the second time for her) on a separate blog at:

  2. céline November 1, 2005 at 1:36 pm

    Oh great, thanks for that! I’m writing it in French. It’s not going well already 🙂

  3. addy November 1, 2005 at 4:06 pm

    The link for the blog does not work… 🙁

  4. céline November 1, 2005 at 4:10 pm

    addy, it’s fixed.

  5. addy November 1, 2005 at 5:00 pm

    Ta very much, Céline!

  6. Jez November 1, 2005 at 9:30 pm

    I’ve almost finished my horrendously long translation earlier than I anticipated, so I might actually make a start on my nanowrimo stream of consciousness.

  7. Jemima November 7, 2005 at 11:52 am

    So, how many words so far?

  8. céline November 7, 2005 at 1:41 pm

    I’ll post a wordcount update every night at the end of the latest entry.

Comments are closed.