NaNoWriMo. 30 days. 50,000 words. 700,000 novelists (and then some).
It’s very nearly October, and in the NaNoWriMo calender that means it’s almost novel planning month. Every year, for the month of November, hundreds of thousands of crazy novelists from around the world (706,333 in 2013) take on the challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. Why? Yes, partly because we’re mental, but mostly because it’s a crazy ride that helps you shut up your inner editor and get some damn words on the page. NaNo is about enthusiasm, determination and the magic of an impending deadline. 50,000 words is a difficult, but doable, goal, even for those who work full-time or have families. It’s about the length of a short novel, like The Great Gatsby.
I’ve dipped in and out of NaNo several times now, and whether I ‘win’ or not (and I usually don’t…) I always have a blast. The forums make what can be a pretty solitary pursuit into something much more sociable. With local write-ins going on too, you can really make the whole business essentially a team spot. There’s something incredibly refreshing about throwing all caution to the wind and just writing. Write fast, write hard, you can tidy up the mess later. Or not. That’s ok too. The point is to just write.
I’ll be back on the NaNoWriMo train in November and I can’t wait. For the first time in a while, I feel like I have the time I need to do it. Plus, those elusive 50,000 words are on my 25 Before 25 list, so I’d best get to it! If you’d like to join me, and be my writing buddy, you can find my NaNo profile here. Please do send me your links too!
If you need more convincing, here’s a blog post from the NaNo team a couple of years ago, with ten reasons you should take on the challenge. Pens at the ready!