“National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.” -via nanowrimo.org
If that wasn’t exciting enough to get you interested in NaNoWriMo, then I’m not sure if I can do much more. NaNoWriMo is a yearly event that takes place every November and gathers thousands of writers on their website to participate in the same challenge: write a 50k-words novel in 30 days. It’s insane, very stressful and incredibly fun.
I’ve only found out about NaNo last year and I immediately fell in love with this idea. I’ve always had so many ideas floating around my head that I wanted to put on paper but never really did. Either I was too busy, or I procrastinated so much that I completely forgot what that was about. Sometimes I would actually start to work on it but then I would get busy or distracted with something else (probably another super-cool-awesome idea) and never look at those 5k words again. NaNo is the answer to all of those problems.
During NaNo you are surrounded by lots of other writers just like you. The community is fantastic and so helpful! They understand what you’re going through because they are going through the exact same thing. Do you need help with a plot hole? Maybe a little motivation to keep you going? Can’t find the name for that specific kind of machine that is essential to make your spaceship work? Worry no more, because there probably is someone there who knows the exact answer that you’re looking for. You can also add writing buddies, talk through the site messaging system and encourage each other to keep going when they feel like giving up. If you (like me) thought that writing was a lonely activity, think again. The community is one of the biggest parts in making NaNoWriMo the amazing experience that it is.
I participated last year, and even though I was super excited, I had no idea what awaited me on the other side. Because it was my first time, I didn’t really know how I would adjust, what worked and didn’t work for me or how fast I could write. I never considered that uni and other real life plans may get in the way of my writing time and that it would get me off track.
As it turns out, I’m a planner. I need a basic structure of what’s going to happen in my story in order to complete it by the end of the month. Since I didn’t know this last year, by the middle point of the writing process I had no idea where I wanted to go, got stuck and never finished it. I wrote 31k words, and even though I didn’t win I enjoyed the whole experience so much that I’m back this year!
I’ve already started planning my novel, making a writing playlist and stocking up on coffee (trust me, this is vital if you want to survive NaNoWriMo). I can’t wait for November to get here already so I can start writing. I’m determined to win this year, but mostly I really missed the excitement of uploading my word count every day, getting distracted for hours on the forums and meeting some amazing people.
If you ever considered writing a novel but never got around to actually do it, or if you just love writing and would like to meet other aspiring authors, consider joining us during the month of November for some writing fun and a challenging task.
If you’d like, you can add me as a writing buddy so we can stress out together throughout the month and then celebrate in December! After all, even if we don’t win (which we WILL), at least we’ll have more words than we did when we started it. I’m at http://nanowrimo.org/participants/somesortofspell
I hope to see you there!