So a couple of weeks ago, I saw someone post a question on their Facebook page. They asked, “Who is doing NaNoWriMo this year?” I had no idea what that meant, so I was pretty sure I wasn’t doing it. The curiosity, though, was getting to me. What the heck was NaNoWriMo? I had no idea, so I went to the all-knowing internet and googled it. I found out it was National Novel Writing Month, and it was happening in November. So, I did something impulsive and crazy. I signed up for it and committed to writing a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. That works out to be between 175 and 250 page novel.
Now some of you might be reading that and think I am crazy, or some of you might be reading it and think that it sounds pretty easy peasy (you people make me sick). In any case, it is a challenge for me, but it is also something I have always wanted to do. I’m sure if you follow our site, you have noticed that we all are aspiring writers to some degree. If you missed it, just last week Liz Cole started her author page on Facebook, and she began posting her novel, Northern Warriors, to Wattpad. So far she has the first 5 chapters up, which is awesome. I am interested in checking out more on Wattled. There are so many great tools out there for people who want to write. If you have a story, there is a way for you to tell it.
National Novel Writing Month is a great way to just get you writing. They give you a lot of tools to help you succeed and a lot of different ways to get and stay motivated. For example, when you go to the website NaNoWriMo.org, you can input your information, digitally sign a commitment to write and finish your novel, you can even print it out as a certificate so you have that constant reminder. You can upload information about your novel on the site, like the title and a synopsis and even an excerpt. The thing I find most motivating is that it breaks down the word count for you into how many you need a day. 50,000 words seems massive, but 1667 words in one day seems manageable and doable. I started on Sunday, November 1, and on that day entered my word count of 2020. I felt pretty good, and could see my progress. They have badges that you earn on your profile for doing different activities.
There is also a social aspect to it, as well. You can earn badges for social activities, like finding writing buddies or participating in their forums online. There are also local events you can choose to attend to get fired up, including get togethers and write ins, where people come to one location and everybody just sits and writes to get things started. They base what activities you are alerted to on the information you provide in your profile, so you are connected to other potential authors in your area. It is cool, because you can see your word count and if you are on track, plus you can see how many words have been added for the region you are part of. It is pretty cool. I am not a huge socializer, so going to the local events may not always be my thing, but I think it is cool that they are offered.They also have a lot of different motivational speeches and documents from other writers that you can watch or read to keep you going.
As far as I can tell, the whole point is to get you out there, writing stuff. There is no cost to join the website. They are a nonprofit, so donations are appreciated, but not required. Once you sign up, you are in, and everything is set up to benefit you, the writer. One thing to keep in mind is that the goal is to have a rough draft of your novel completed, not the final draft. There will be mistakes, and the flow will not be perfect, but that’s not the point of doing it in a month, and honestly, that is the way any first draft should be. No one just sits down and types up the perfect, final draft of their novel, so just keep that in mind.
Now, if you are considering doing this, there are a few things you need to decide or know about yourself. You need to know if you are what the site calls a “Planner,” or if you are a “Pantser.” You can probably guess what each one is. If you are a planner then you need to have your story all planned out. You would never sit down to write a story without your outline or lots of notes completed first. If you are a pantser, you have a lot less preparation. You basically would wake up on Novemebr 1, stare at a blank page and begin writing. You may have a few ideas, but definitely not an outline. I am 100% pantser. I had a couple of ideas of possible stories, but when I sat down on November 1, I just stared at a blank page and began typing away, and let the story just happen. So, for me, to decide two weeks before to do this was not a problem. There is no way my wife could do something like that. She is absolutely a planner. She would have to have it all written out in outline form before she could even get started. For her, if she were going to do something like this, she would have to have a lot more time than just a couple of weeks. That would not fly for her. Either one is fine and valid. There is no wrong way to write a novel, except stealing someone else’s work and passing it off as your own. That’s stealing and it’s wrong.
Anyway, I am excited to start my novel and get going on it. I highly recommend doing something like this. What a great way to express yourself and to hold yourself accountable, which is an important thing for me. Whatever your talent is, whether it’s writing or something completely different, then just go out and do it. You will be glad you did.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe to our site so you never miss another post. You won’t regret it. At least my mom thinks you won’t regret.