National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59, November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.
“November 1st-30th – Thirty days and nights of literary abandon!” says the National Novel Writing Month website, also known as NaNoWriMo. Literary abandon! What a nice sound that has!
But it’s not November, you say? Big deal! Why put off tomorrow what you can do today! Although, I’m a big fan of Nanowrimo in November, I was out of commission during that month, so now it’s time for my make up test.
However, the greatest thing about NaNoWriMo is knowing that thousands of people are out there writing on the fly like you are. Well, I’m settling for the company of two.
And two wonderful writers they are. But I’m biased—the writers are my two sisters. We all consistently hound one another for the newest chapters of each other’s projects. I am the worst because I switch projects like I do socks. I just have too many ideas, and when I get stuck with one project, it’s onto another one. At least these two wonderful ladies are a little more disciplined. When they get stuck they don’t move onto to the next story.
Ah, now that’s loyalty.
But now that each one of us is stuck, we have decided to make it NaNoWriMo in January. We have agreed to write our hearts out for the next thirty days. This is a sort of birthday present to myself, so all the better.
Feeling stuck? Feel free to make it NaNoWriMo in your house. But don’t forget to go to www.nanowrimo.org before November and sign up for National Novel Writing Month. This will push you to write two novels for 2011. Daunting, but I know it can be done. I want to say that I’ll do it, but the whole point of NaNoWriMo is not to put pressure on yourself to produce a perfect book in 30 days. The point is just to write.
Happy NaNoWrimo in January!