Twenty five years ago I heard about National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. I thought about how crazy it was.
I mean writing a novel in 30 days? Sure, I would love to write a novel, but I wasn’t sure about writing it in 30 days.
There was no way I would ever find the time to write a novel that quickly. I was a college student with studying to do. I also had a job and a family. How did anyone find the time to do this? Especially an adult with adult responsibilities.
In addition to the time, what was the point in even doing NaNoWriMo? I couldn’t answer that question until I gave this annual event a try. Yes, that’s right.
Two years ago I gave in and tried NaNoWriMo. So what are the three reasons to do NaNoWriMo? That’s easy!
I never knew that forcing yourself to write could get you so motivated. All you have to do to “win” NaNoWriMo is hit 50,000 words.
When you think about it, that really isn’t that many words. An average novel is 75,000. Some novels are even more like 100,000 or more. I used to write 500-word articles for a couple of online sites. I could whip one of them out in about 30 minutes.
If you divide 50K out over 30 days, that makes about 1,667 words per day if you write every day as you are supposed to do. Of course, you could always write more if your heart desired. Writing 1,667 words would take me less than two hours.
That wouldn’t be that bad, right?
The hardest part of writing a novel is getting started. NaNoWriMo gives you that push to write a first draft.
I know I don’t care to do the editing once the first draft is done. However, getting a first draft finished feels so darn good. You get to give yourself a huge pat on the back for this accomplishment.
I gave in to this huge goal in 2012. I had a great idea for the second book of my trilogy. I did pretty good the first part of the month, and then life happened. I got behind and was ready to give up.
However, quitting is not in my vocabulary if I want something bad enough. I was determined to hit the goal.
My kids were with their dad for Thanksgiving, and my parents were in Florida that year. I had a four day weekend with nothing to do. Writing a novel would keep me busy. I dug in and wrote like 15,000 in those four days.
Needless to say, I not only finished the 50K requirement I even wrote 2,000 more words than needed. I beamed from ear to ear. I was so proud of myself.
And I had my first draft of a novel in 30 days.
I rewarded myself with a “winner” T-shirt and Scrivener, a writing program that I got for half off. (That book was finally published this past April.)
Connection with other writers
Have you ever felt like no one takes you seriously as a writer? I have at times. I do have some people who ask how my writing is coming along, and I am always happy to answer.
Of course, if the answer is “slow” like I have here recently, then I feel badly about myself. I know I am letting myself down when I am not writing.
NaNoWriMo gives you plenty of opportunity to connect and meet other writers. I enjoy this part as much as the writing. It’s nice to have others understand how much you love to write and give encouragement.
Before NaNo begins November 1, sign up on their website, NaNoWriMo. You can connect with others through forums on the website.
I am looking forward to this year once again. I did give 2013 a try, but I got a late start and didn’t hit the 50K goal. I fell short by 18,000 words. It was a good try, though, with everything else I had going on.
For the past few days I have spent some time prepping for the big event. I am a planner so I need to know where I am headed once I begin writing.
What am I writing this time? Well, the third and final book of the trilogy I mentioned above. I am anxious to finish the trilogy so I can move on to another book or possible series.
Why do you do NaNoWriMo? Share your thoughts here. I would love to hear them.