I’m going to try my hand again this year at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). For those who aren’t familiar, it’s where you spend the month of November trying to write a 50,000 word novel (and no cheating by using something you started writing at an earlier date). It starts at midnight November 1st and ends at midnight November 30th.
National Novel Writing Month starts at midnight October 31st and runs through November.
As is my usual style, I’ll be honest here and tell you I haven’t finished in my previous two attempts. In my defense, the first year I didn’t find out about it until after November 1st and started off the several thousand words off the pace needed to finish on time. Last year I was working for an organization that had their biggest event of the year in late November, there wasn’t much time for eating or sleeping and writing was luxury.
Instead, my goal each year has been to use the month to form better writing habits. To do things like carve an hour out of each day to write without interruptions. To get better at focusing when I do write so I can make the most of my time. Figuring what if tight outlines or free-flow works best (a kind of combination, thanks for asking). It’s really been a great chance to get to know me as a writer. Sure, I’d love to make 50,000 words, but I also know I have enough major stressors in my life that block the flow if ideas to let one of the things that let me relax become a major source of stress.
But this year is a little different. I finally have some freelance work coming up, but I’m not working full-time for an organization going full throttle towards the end of the month. I usually have at least a couple of hours to myself each day. I’m not saying it’s a sure thing, but things certainly look a lot better for success than they did last year!
November is National Novel Writing Month! I have to admit, I’m coming in a little late to the game. I’ve heard about it in the past but never really gave it much thought. This year something struck my fancy and I’ve decided to give it a try.
The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000 word novel by midnight on November 30th. The website is there to encourage you, provide advice and allow to meet-up with other members on-line and in real life. There are more than 500 chapters around the world, so there’s a pretty good chance that there’s one near you. At the end of the event you can upload your novel for word count verification to be added to the winners’ list an receive prizes (a lovely certificate to print out and frame and a web badge of honor). It looked like fun. It sounded like fun. So I decided late on the 1st of November to jump into the fray.
My goal is the full 50,000 words, but I’m being realistic. I’m a wife and mom and I work full-time, my real goal is to write every day. I want to develop the habit of making time to work on something fun and creative. This is personal. This the kick in the backside I’ve been looking for to stop procrastinating and making excuses. Since this is personal, I’m going to keep my username and project title between me and NaNoWriMo for now. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you up to date on my progress. Right now I have 858 words written. Hey it’s a start, right? By the way, that’s all written long-hand between getting kids to bed and myself to bed. I think it’s a pretty for two days. Now if I could just find another hour in the day…
So what about you? Are you in? It’s not really about the 50,000 words. It’s about setting goals and being creative. It’s about getting you out of your comfort zone and getting started writing that story you’ve always wanted to tell. Who’s with me?