NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month and each November since 1999, writers around the world (it really should be INNoWriMo by now) have signed up to be challenged, cheered or harangued (whatever works for you) by each other to write 50,000 words of a novel (or a whole novella) from November 1st to Midnight November 30th.
50k in 30days requires a minimum of 1667 words per day – shouldn’t be so hard, really, if you have nothing to do but write all day (like me), but when you have no official deadlines, a predilection for research and an incessant internal editor, it’s not always so easy, either. I heard about it last year and watched on Twitter as the word counts soared, writers cheered for each other, AARGH-ed their frustration and announced their victories (anyone who hits 50k is a “Winner”, last year 32,178 out of 167,150 “won”.) I joined in the cheering, of course, but there was a definite sense of missing out on something pretty special.
As November approached this year, I found myself in a rut with my current novel. I was constantly second-guessing my outline, backtracking to re-write a first draft that was only half done, massaging changes through the scenes, only to realise that I had been on track in the first place. Clearly I was thinking too hard and had forgotten how to trust that my craft is solid, and WRITE. What I needed was some reason to stop backtracking! It occurred to me that the structure, support and festival atmosphere of NaNoWriMo might just be what I needed to get out of my rut and get a clean run up on a fresh re-write.
It’s day 6 and, so far, it’s going well. At end of day 5, I had 10,009 words and, more importantly, was becoming hyper-aware of just how often I stop to second-guess myself, or go off to research some real-world minutiae which really can wait until proofing time. At the end of it, I hope to have learned a whole lot about myself, have (re-)established some great writing habits and, of course, have at least 50,000 words of my fresh draft done!
So, though I have no illusions of this blog being in anyway regular (or anticipated by anyone lol), I do feel the need to state that this blog will be a little more bare throughout November – if it’s not, something’s going wrong!
If you are NaNoWriMo-ing this year, you can find my profile here: Danisidhe Do say hi and we can buddy up.
For now, it’s time to get started on day 6 (if I can keep myself from watching over Superman’s shoulder as he boots up Civ 5, which is looking AMAZING! – aargh!)