Welcome to November, known to writers around the world as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This is the month when somewhere close to 300,000 over-caffeinated aspiring novelists put their normal lives on the back burner and crank out 50,000 words each in the 30 days between Nov 1st and Nov 30th. It’s an insane and exhilarating experience that’s been happening since 1999 when freelance writer Chris Baty founded the event with some other crazy writer friends.
My first Nanowrimo was in 2009. I completed the challenge, cranking out 50,000 words of crap before midnight on November 30th. I wasn’t disappointed that the event didn’t deliver a product I could work on editing and eventually submit somewhere. That wasn’t the point. For me, the point was about seeing if I could actually write that many words in so few days, AND if I could get over my Type-A self and just write, damn it!
In 2010, though part of me longed to go for a repeat victory, I decided not to participate in Nanowrimo. I wrote a post explaining why I had to bail on Nano that year. In 2011, I avoided the question completely by pretending ignorance of the event.
Now it’s 2012, and I’ve decided to make a run at Nano’s brass ring for a second time. I feel slightly more prepared this time (I have an idea and some characters and I have also just finished reading the section on structure in Larry Brooks’ excellent book, Story Engineering (more on that later). I’m about to brush up on Scrivener and give that a trial run. I am also completely prepared to abandon all my plans and just write ANYTHING to reach my 50,000 words. I’m in a good place.
Before I start to tune out the rest of the world, however … I’m curious to know how many of you are also participating, have participated in the past, or might participate in the future.
Note: Nano starts TODAY – Nov 1st – and it’s NEVER to late to join up and start hammering those keys!
If you’re still unsure, check out all the great resources and pep talks on nanowrimo.org. I also recommend Ali Luke’s post, 4 Reasons You Should do NaNoWriMo … and 4 Reasons You Shouldn’t.
Do you have Nanowrimo stories to share? How about a pep talk for your fellow writers? Any final words of advice? Give it all up in the comments.
Jamie Lee Wallace is a writer who also happens to be a marketer. She helps her Suddenly Marketing clients discover their voice, connect with their audience, and find their marketing groove. She is also a mom, a prolific blogger, and a student of voice and trapeze (not at the same time). Introduce yourself on facebook or twitter. She doesn’t bite … usually.