NANOWRIMO! Say it. I dare you. So fun. "Naaa-No-Rye-Moe."
You may have already heard about this; it's pretty big in the writer-blog-world.
November is National Novel Writing Month. Who knew, right? And NaNoWriMo (said it yet?) is a "nonprofit that believes stories matter." It's yearly challenge is to write 50,000 words in the month of November.
That's somewhere around 175 pages.
Which amounts to about 1600 words per day, give or take.
Intimidated yet? I sure am.
Basic principles include the idea that everyone has that awesome story locked inside themselves. Also, that writing slowly, inch-by-inch of page, constantly editing and reworking is maaaaybe not the best way to slog out that novel. I can definitely attest to that. Anyone else have somewhere around 20 pages of several different novels here and there, on different computers? Also a bunch of documents a page or two long just about one incident you had every intention of working into your novel?
I actually took a novel writing class in grad school, and wrote about half of one. It sucked. It is most assuredly never going to be finished or published. You're welcome.
Anyway. I fell in love with this NaNoWriMo idea. Here's why:
1. The list of authors who have PUBLISHED the novels they wrote during NaNoWriMo. One of my favorite books ever, The Night Circus, was written this way. It took her 2 Novembers, but, hey, it's a seriously amazing book. If you haven't read it, go. Do. It's like candy for your brain. If this kind of thing is written during NaNoWriMo, sign me up.
2. A dear author friend of mine wrote much of HER first book during one. Holy cow. And BONUS, she's going to do it with me this year, working on her THIRD book. If you're interested in this genuinely amazing woman (she homeschools four delightful boys AND writes novels. Actually, the only thing she DOESN'T probably do is sleep!), her new book, The Wife the Maid and the Mistress is due to be published in January. I've read it, and it's gooooooood.
3. Writing leads to more writing. Duh. You've heard alllllll the quotes from alllllll the old famous guys. How do you write? Get up, have coffee, write. Every day. No matter what. If you have no ideas, that's when the best stuff happens (sometimes). So, if you're committing to NaNoWriMo, you're going to be mimicking the working habits of writers you'd kill to be able to do ANYTHING like. Done deal.
4. Writing leads to better-ness. It's true. If writing is your thing, actually WRITING makes life better. I find I'm far more likely to have a clean kitchen, do some laundry, have a happy heart, be a good mom, be kind to my husband, etc., on the days that I write. That seems absurd now that I've actually said it, but it's true. Not every single one of those things every time, but, seriously, alot of them. It's why we do what we do, right? If you spend some time doing something that you love, it helps order your brain, your heart and your soul. I'm much more willing to get back to the realities of life once I've spent some time in my happy place.
5. It scares me. Seriously, it does. The fast-approaching First of November gives me the same kind of nerves as the idea of an upcoming audition or the opening night of a show I'm directing. That feeling which is awesome and horrible all at the same time. Lovehate that feeling! Here's the thing: anything that produces that kind of nerves HAS to be worth doing. It means I'm emotionally attached to it enough to enjoy it, but it's challenging enough that I'm unsure if I can succeed. What could be better? Also, the fulfillment of accomplishing that 50,000 words....wow. I can't imagine!
6. This is the weirdest one: I've got nothing. No story, no plot, no ideas. (Yet!) I've had lots before; written some of them, etc. But this is going to be a new story....and the challenge of finding one before November is huge, but it's something I really want. I want to find that story and want to get it going!
So there you go. 6 reasons to join me! If you're interested, check it out at www.nanowrimo.org, and let ME know you're doing it. I'll be posting about it a bit between now and then (I've got some books to recommend, some writing challenges I'm doing, and more). I'll also be updating as to my progress in November.
Come on....you know you want to!