Aspiring novelist Caitlyn Sommerfield surpassed the 50,000-word requirement for National Novel Writing Month after completing a Facebook post titled, “Didn’t Vote? You’re A Narcissist, Democracy Arsonist!”
“NaNoWriMo is an inspiring challenge, but I’ve always struggled to complete it,” Sommerfield says. “I guess all I needed was this never-dying feeling of internal rage, and an audience of acquaintances. Now I’m officially a novelist.”
Sommerfield has previously used NaNoWriMo for writing fiction, but this year she was most inspired by expressing her completely unfiltered thoughts on a public platform. Her rants hit a grand total of 97,392 words—129,438 including her own follow-up comments—featuring tirades ranging from “I Don’t Normally Get Political But… (Part 6)” to “Let’s Audit Every Single Vote.”
“Repeating phrases to pad your word count is frowned upon, but this month it felt especially necessary to say, ‘We’re being played! We’re being played! We’re being played!’ hundreds of times,” Sommerfield explains.
Witnesses say that Sommerfield’s training as a writer hasn’t been obvious to all readers.
“Facebook thought I was a spambot and tried to deactivate my account,” Sommerfield says. “So I sent my post, ‘Maybe All News If Fake News?’ to several of their customer service people, and they just left just me alone.”
Motivation can be a struggle for many NaNoWriMo writers, who often don’t finish due to distractions like work or family. But Sommerfield, who mostly wrote her pieces directly from her phone while mumbling, “everything is so important,” was able to maintain incredible focus.
When NaNoWriMo officially ended on December 1st, Caitlyn was putting the finishing touches on her final piece, “Very Conflicted.” But the conclusion of the month doesn’t mean an end to her new writing hobby.
“NaNoWriMo is done, but Facebook isn’t going anywhere,” she said. “I’m so inspired! I learned that writing doesn’t need plots, characters, or anyone else’s point of view — I can just write about the searing pain of everyday life.”
At press time, the word count for her offline crime novel titled Crate & Barrel & Murder still sits at 956 words.