Ever wanted to write a novel but never had the time? Never thought you could do it? Well, now’s your chance to throw caution to the wind. I am embarking on NaNoWriMo for the first time this year after putting it off for the last two. What is NaNoWriMo? It’s short for National Novel Writing Month, and begins on November 1st each year (though you can pick any 30-day month and do it unofficially, or use a full 31 day month and take it a bit easier). It entails writing a novel of 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s right – that’s 1,667 words A DAY.
NaNoWriMo is the perfect opportunity to test my mettle – to see if I have what it takes to pump out a novel in a month. And since the NaNoWriMo motto is “Quantity over quality”, it should be an interesting ride – especially since I have to knee-cap my inner critic for an entire 30 days. (Hear that Muse? You get 30 days trouble free to do whatever you want).
So here’s the deal – I’ve just signed up (6 months early, as you can see by the counter on my blog) and intend to spend the next 182 days psyching myself up for what will truly be a marathon effort. Especially since November falls during tax season in Accountant Land. I also have 2 birthdays that month and will be back to working 4 days a week. Despite those little inconveniences, I will attempt, for your viewing pleasure, to write those 50,000 words in 30 days or less.
I am throwing out the welcome mat to anyone who wants to join me. Before you make your decision, check out the NaNoWriMo website to get a feel for how it all works. You can join a local group if you wish and you get to update your word count daily during November. There’s a lot of encouragement to reach your goal – and no brickbats if you don’t. There are also prizes of the writing variety when you reach that magic 50,000-word-mark – not to mention the kudos of having written an actual novel (no matter how crap it is!).
It’s a daunting task, and one that I don’t take lightly. Afterall, I have enough unfinished manuscripts to wallpaper the houses in my street. And that’s why I have signed up so early – to soak up other peoples’ success stories and tips. I have also purchased a book called “No plot? No problem!”, written by NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty, which offers insights into how NaNoWriMo came about and a section for weekly encouragement to be read while you’re on your 50,000-word roller coaster ride.
Even if you don’t join me, you can come along for the ride. When November rolls around, I’ll add my word counter on my blog, and try to write a few words each day (in addition to the 1,667 for the novel) updating how the novel is progressing. If you do decide to join me, but don’t want to sign up to the NaNoWriMo site, I’ll add your very own word counter on my blog and you can keep me updated on your progress (I will trust you to be writing the words you say you are). I will expect to be taken to task over missed deadlines and will most likely need plenty of encouragement to NOT quit in the middle of it all when it all seems way too hard.
For those who are a little interested, but still not sure about it all, I’ll post bits and pieces in the lead-up to November about how it works and what you should be doing to get ready. In the mean time, I’m off to find some inspiration on the NaNoWriMo forums, and start generating some NaNoWriMo-worthy plot ideas.