If you have writing friends, you may have heard a fairly mysterious word in recent weeks. You may have heard about preparing for it, dreaming about it and fretting about it.
No, it’s not about the unit of measurement in the metric system.
It’s short hand for NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. And it is a writer-specific kind of madness.
The idea is to write a novel in the month of November. The only qualification the text must have is a length of 50,000 words. That’s it. No quality control, no spellcheck, no editing. Just a mad (or not so mad) group attempt at finally getting those words on the page. Editing is for December.
Does it make any sense at all?
Actually, I believe it does. In fact, I have participated a few times and written some novels that way. They needed to be expanded and edited, of course – but the result was 50,000 words on the page. Written in 30 days.
For those math people among my readers, this means writing 1,667 words per day. I actually created an excel file to record my progress and to know exactly where I stood every single day in November. On my best run, I finished on the 25th, because I wrote at least 2,000 words every day without exception.
Of course, few people are able to write a publishable novel in that time.
Some are, because they are used to writing this fast, can plot well, and have the discipline to do it. But those people don’t need NaNo, because they are professional writers and do this practically every month of the year anyway.
No, NaNo is for those writers who have a hard time getting a novel together. It’s a fantastic way to create a daily writing habit, to getting used to just sitting down and writing, no matter what.
For that, NaNo is awesome.
And it even more awesome because of the community, the forums, the meetings, the knowledge that millions, literally millions are doing this with you all over the world. I bet there is a NaNo meeting in the next medium-sized town near you, and all the big ones.
So I want to encourage you to do this, especially if you’re struggling with motivation, with writing regularly, and with getting a novel out of your head.
And if you’re a little scared of the whole idea, and afraid it is too much for you, well, we can tap on that.
Even though I don’t believe I’ll ever be able of writing a novel in just a month, I’m okay the way I am, and I’m open to the possibility that this could be a fun experiment.
Even though this NaNo stuff sounds utterly crazy and I want to be a serious writer, I’m okay the way I am, and I’m open to the possibility that some crazy might actually help my writing.
Even though it feels daunting to write that much in a single month, I’m okay the way I am, and I’m open to the possibility that this challenge might be a good thing.
If you want to sign up, the NaNo website and forums are here: NaNoWriMo
If you want to receive daily inspirational email from me during NaNo, sign up to my free 30 Days Daily Writing Habit Class. It starts on November 1st.
How do you feel about NaNo?
Can you imagine that it might be fun?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what great story are you writing right now?
Would love to hear from you!
Image Source: F. Moebius
PS: NaNo most definitely is a challenge. And in case you wondered, yes, November was chosen on purpose. It is meant to help you learn to write no matter what. Even Thanksgiving. I know that’s hard, but NaNo is about setting priorities and making your writing one. I can help you set that belief and start your career as writer.
I’d love to do that for you. If that idea appeals to you and you want to learn more, click HERE and send me an email. Together, we’ll figure out how I can support you best.
PPS: My newsletter contains a full tapping round to go with my blog posts, so you can start getting results. Sign up through the form on the upper right hand corner, and receive that tapping round plus occasional special offers. If you’re on a mobile, you can sign up through this link: Newsletter Sign-up.