Saturday, October 16, 2010

November is National Novel Writing Month!

So, you want to write a novel, but you don't want it to take 5 years of year life? Have I got the solution for you! In just 30 days, you too can have a novel (albeit a 50,000 word novel, but who's counting). Crazy? Perhaps. But, it can be a lot of fun too.

November is National Novel Writing Month and the folks over at NaNoWriMo have all the tools in place to motivate you through a hectic month of writing. At a pace of 1666 words per day (give or take a half word or two), you may very well feel exhausted should you manage to reach the goal. But, hopefully, it's a triumphant kind of exhausted.

Though I won't be participating this year (need to finish WIP), I can recommend the experience. It can be fun, especially if you find a local group that's active. Though I "won" only once, it was a great motivation to get into a habit of writing every day...which I have since lost...and gained...and lost over time. So, if you're facing a rut of not writing right now, NaNoWriMo may be the thing for you. Don't take it lightly, though...or you may come out more frustrated than you were going in. A daily word count of 1666 is a lot. My first two attempts, I started out strong, then faltered badly at week two. This was partly from a lack of planning, but also from a lack of stamina. It takes a lot to crank out 1600+ words a day! When I "won", it was because I was able to sustain my writing at a pace where I wasn't having to constantly catch up. Dealing with the Thanksgiving holiday can also be tricky. Not exactly a ton of alone time to be had for most of us then.

The website itself is a lot of fun and lets you interact with writers on both a local and national level. They even have some cool gadgets to track both your progress and the progress of those in your area. It's all on an honor system, so you could technically cheat and "win" every year. But, all winning does is get you a little logo you can post somewhere that says you participated and won. Woo hoo. If you've just got to have that little logo, I guess there are worse things than claiming you did something you didn't, but I digress.

Give it a shot. Worst case scenario, you get some writing done and make some new writing friends. Best case, you get a really good head start on a novel (50,000 leaves you a bit short of actually finishing one) that you love and gain some writerly colleagues.

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