Brace Yourself – It’s NaNoWriMo!
Ah, November. It’s the month of turkeys and family gatherings, of early morning shopping and half-priced televisions. It is also the month where writers accomplish in 30 days what normally takes years. Oh, yes. It’s National Novel Writing Month or more affectionately called NaNoWriMo.
Writers approach NaNoWriMo with a mixture of trepidation and excitement. They stock up on pens, paper, and coffee with the intention of writing 50,000 words by the end of November. If anything it gives you an excuse to duck out early from an awkward family get-together, but if you’re thinking of taking on the challenge this year, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Give your inner critic a month off.
1,667 words a day doesn’t seem like much until your inner critic starts itching to re-write everything you did yesterday. NaNoWriMo isn’t about perfection; it’s about slapping together a story fueled by panic and caffeine. If your story is 50,000 words and finishes with “the end” you’re good to go.
Friends make writing fun.
The NaNoWriMo website helps writers connect. Trust me, just like a relay race and a triple foot long Subway sandwich: it’s easier to finish with a partner. Besides misery loves company, right? So why not convince your favorite friends to torture themselves with NaNoWriMo right alongside you.
Several authors have gone on to publish their NaNoWriMo book.
NaNoWriMo maintains a list of all “wrimos” who published their NaNo books (which are way too many to mention) but some of the more well known include; Erin Morgenstern with The Night Circus, Rainbow Rowell with Fangirl, Carrie Ryan with The Forest of Hands and Teeth along with Marissa Meyer’s Cinder. That being said NaNoWriMo novels are written very quickly and usually need a lot of editing after, but that’s what the other 11 months of the year are for.
Many more authors have never published their NaNoWriMo book and that’s okay too.
Most NaNoWriMo books never see the light of day and that’s fine. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get authors writing by making it a daily priority. So if you’re NaNoWriMo novel is nothing but a Steve Buscemi type character continually screaming “I WANT PANCAKES!” (true story) that’s okay. At least you got to the keyboard and wrote something.
Seriously thinking about joining NaNoWriMo this November? Check out some of these helpful writing tools available to you.
The library offers several books on writing including Stephen King’s On Writing and The Chicago Manual of Style. Several branches also hold copies of The Writer’s Market which lists publishers, agents, magazines and contests to submit your work. There are also several free websites that offer random first lines and random words to help jump start your creativity. What are you waiting for? Suit up and join me for NaNoWriMo!