You may have heard of or even have participated in the National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. But if you’ve never heard of it, then here’s a little run-down on what the buzz is all about. Every November 1st, writers of all experience levels set out to write a full 50,000-word novel in just one month.
Sound crazy? Well…maybe a little, but it’s also a great way to get motivated.
The whole idea for a month-long writing project started back in 1999 when a guy named Chris Baty decided to write a novel in one month. He brought along a few friends and the idea caught on. The appeal lies in the idea that your writing doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s not about agonizing over spelling and grammar errors. Or rewriting the same paragraph 10 times to get it just right. NaNoWriMo is about throwing down a rough draft and making mistakes along the way. The pressure is off! Well, except for the word count, then there’s still lots of pressure.
The way it works is that you create an account on the official site. Next, create a novel project, and start counting your words. When you’re finished, you submit your work for validation and if you’re made it to the 50,000-word mark, then you win! It’s free to sign-up and there are plenty of resources on the site that help you get going. But the best part of the whole process is that you have the support of a large community of writers from all over the world. Just take a look at #NaNoWriMo on Twitter to join in the conversation or find a group in your area that hosts write-ins.
Now writing a novel in one month might not be for everyone. But you never really know until you try. If nothing else, you might just develop more discipline in your writing routine, or find inspiration for a story that could be truly great.
- It gives you a deadline and holds you accountable. It’s time to finally finish what you start!
- It takes the pressure off writing perfectly. You’re simply trying to write down a rough draft without editing.
- If you stick with it, you can develop a more disciplined approach to your writing routine.
- You have access to a large community of writers who offer encouragement and advice.
- You learn how to write faster and more efficiently.
- Sometimes the pressure to compete and reach your word count goals can feel overwhelming.
- When you’re done, it won’t be a completed novel. What you actually have is the beginnings of a possible novel that needs a lot of TLC in the editing department before you can actually submit it to a publisher.
- After a month of intensive writing, many people neglect to move onto the editing stage, leaving their work unfinished.
- If you don’t complete your novel in time, then it can be easy to beat yourself up over it. Don’t. Different people write differently at different paces and in different ways. You are not a failure. Try to walk away remembering all of the things that you learned throughout the process and the positive experiences you had within the community.
In order to write 50,000 words in 30 days you need to write at least 1,666 words a day.
Both the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen were started as NaNoWriMo projects.
In 2013, 310,000 Adults and 89,500 youths participated in NaNoWriMo.