The leaves are changing colors, the mountains are covered with tiny blankets of white, and there is a definite chill in the air. That means it’s almost my favorite time of year (and probably my husband’s least favorite.) I’m talking about NaNoWriMo.
For those of you who don’t know, November is National Novel Writing Month. Granted, it’s also No Shave November, National Diabetes Awareness Month, Sweet Potato Awareness Month, Native American Heritage Month, and a whole slew of others. So it’s totally understandable if, between all of those and the holidays, you didn’t know about NaNoWriMo.
NaNoWriMo is celebrated with an online writing contest. The goal is to write 50,000 words during the month of November. Doesn’t matter if they’re good or not. The point is just to sit down and get the story out. My husband actually wrote, “This is my novel” and copied and pasted it a billion times. He actually made the computer freeze up after getting over a million words. He threatened to actually upload it just to say he was a winner, but he chickened out, leaving me as the only NaNoWriMo winner in this house.
Last year was my first year competing in NaNo, and it was an eye opening experience for me. I had written several novels before, but each had taken me years to get down on paper (or the computer screen). By forcing myself to ignore my annoying, OCD inner-editor, I was able to hit the 50,000 word goal days before the deadline. It was a huge victory for me, and I still smile thinking about it. Was it hard work? Yeah. I had to dedicate a lot of my free time to writing. It meant spending less time on Facebook and more time thinking. And it was totally worth it.
Now, obviously a novel written in the course of a month isn’t likely going to be publishable right off the bat. I’m still working on the one hundred and ninetieth rewrite of last year’s novel (not quite, but it feels like it.) But come November 1st, the gloves are off. The rewrite will be pushed to the side, and if all goes well, another 50,000 words will be born.
So join me if you like. There’s nothing to lose even if you don’t hit the goal. At least you can say you tried. And feel free to ask me questions about NaNo. I may not be an expert, but I’ve lived it, and I can’t wait to do it again.