As you know, I normally post once per week, but this is a special month so I will be posting more often. What is so special you might ask and I’ll happily tell you. It is National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. Every year for the past several years a growing group of crazed writers get together virtually to try their collective hands at writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. The novel doesn’t have to be high art or even good. It just needs to be written.
So why bother?
Well, quite simply, you can’t edit words that don’t ever get written on the page. You also can’t get better unless you practice. Both are great reasons to participate.
How about breaking out of the loneliness that can be an integral part of being a writer? NaNoWriMo provides a community (several, in fact) that supports participants and helps you to see that being a writer doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavour.
Still not enough?
Well, how about having the competition of writing, global resources that can answer practically any question AND great methods to track your progress? The fine folks at the Office of Light and Letters who are responsible for this annual event provide you with all of the above. And best of all, it’s free! You just need to provide the butt to put in chair and the fingers to write with.
So that, in a very large nutshell, is NaNoWriMo. Did I mention that participation is expected to exceed 200,000 people this year? Pretty darn cool if I do say so myself.
To win (winning is actually writing the 50,000 words in 30 days) you only need to write 1,667 per day, every day. Today I wrote just over 2,500 words. That puts me on track to win in 20 days. Not a record by any stretch but something I will certainly be happy with.
And the greatest thing? It’s not too late for you to start NaNo. Join now. You go to nanowrimo.org and register. If you like, you can add me as a writing buddy. My NaNoWriMo handle is, surprisingly enough, mplested (shocked, I know).
I’ve met a LOT of great friends doing NaNo. I hope you will be one of them.