NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) begins in less than a week! This is the first year I’m participating in this challenge, and I’m super nervous…
What is NaNoWriMo?
National Novel Writing Month is an annual creative writing challenge that takes place in November. Participants must write 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30 at 11:59 pm in order to be considered “winners” (thought it’s not really a contest; it’s more of a personal challenge, like running a marathon). The focus is more on quantity, not quality. For some folks, 50,000 words is just a part of a longer novel. For others, 50,000 words could be a first draft.
In order to complete 50,000 words in 30 days, it means I have to commit to writing at least 1,667 words per day. That is in addition to my existing duties as an marketing content writer and social media manager – gulp!
Why am I participating this year?
I’ll be honest. I’d never heard of NaNoWriMo until this year. I know. It’s crazy. It’s been around since 1999. But I initially got turned on to the idea on Reddit. I’m a subscriber to a few writing- and book-related subreddits, and somehow I came across it in one of the threads. And now I’ve registered on nanowrimo.org/ and am trying to mentally prepare for this crazy endeavor.
(Also, I recently finished reading Stephen King’s On Writing, which got me very excited about fiction again. It’s been a while since I’ve done any creative/fiction writing. The last few years have been content marketing, teleplays, spec scripts, and comedy sketches.)
What’s my game plan?
Haha… good one….
I’ve written a full summary of the novel I’d like to write, but I haven’t done any outlines or character summaries or beat sheets. In fact, I may just give it the ole Stephen King try and see where it leads me. (He doesn’t plot out his stories; he just writes and sees where the stories take him.) This may end up being a bad idea, but hey, I’ve never succeeded writing a novel any other way either, though I haven’t really tried.
That being said, if anybody has any advice, please share it below!
My approach to this is just to have fun and try it out. I remember when I was young and obsessed with V.C. Andrews and thought I wanted to be an author. Then when I actually tried writing out my stories, I could never go past the first chapter. This time I’d like to see how far I can go. I hope I can finish the 50,000 words, but if I only do 25,000, that’s a whole lot better than zero. I do have a discipline problem when it comes to personal projects, so this challenge will help me grow, as well as work my fiction-writing chops again.
And now, for inspiration… some Stephen King quotes:
What have I gotten myself into?