Every year, National Novel Writing Month (or as it’s more commonly known as, NaNoWriMo) occupies the brains and creativity of thousands upon thousands of writers of different levels while they sit down and try their hardest to spit out 50,000 words of a novel. Sure, 50k is actually a novella, but novel sounds cooler (especially when it’s participated in world-wide).
There are really only two rules of NaNoWriMo, and they are:
- Only words written in the month of November count towards the 50k goal.
- Your work must be original (as in, not previously worked on, though some use this time to force themselves to finish an already started project…and many NaNo’rs have mixed feelings about this.)
Now of course, the real goal of NaNoWriMo is to work your writing muscles and try to write every day. But if you can make it to 50k, you will feel so unbelievably proud of yourself. It’s fine if the novel isn’t finished, it’s fine if it isn’t your best work, it’s fine if you got a bit off track, it’s fine if you have spelling and grammatical errors. It’s just a draft! Drafts are supposed to be imperfect and messy.
Last year was my first year participating in NaNoWriMo, and I started on a whim three days into it, without any preparation (i.e. a Pantser), and as a full-time student in my senior year of college, and made it to just under 17,000 words. The feeling was incredible. Not only did I not hit the 50k goal, but I didn’t hit my personal goal of 35k words, either. However, how I felt, knowing that I wrote a decent part of a potential novel…that was incredible. Such a rush. And I learned a lot about my writing style, both what works and doesn’t work in my writing as well as the environment I need to be most productive in.
This year, I’m a college graduate (so no worries about classes) and I’ve decided to prep as much as possible prior to NaNoWriMo (i.e. a Planner) officially beginning November 1st (Pre-NaNoWriMo planning is commonly called ‘NaNoPrep’) and have also stocked up my favorite late night/productivity foods: Twizzlers and Starbucks Refreshers. I am already so much more prepared than last year, and I barely have a few character sketches done.
Something tells me a Plan-tser (Planner+Pantser) is a more accurate description of me this year, despite my attempts at planning, but we shall see when October ends!
If you’re up for a challenge, join me and the other crazy writers in less than 2 weeks when all hell breaks loose for a month of writing.
Hope to hear from you! (Or at least hear your thoughts on NaNoWriMo!)