Here we are! Halloween! Or, for some of us, NaNoWriMo Eve. 🙂
Yes, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo (https://nanowrimo.org/), kicks off tomorrow. For some, it’s a frantic thirty days of writing every single day; for others, it’s a slower, steadier pace, in which they will finish their 50,000 word count sometime during Thanksgiving break. For some, it’s about getting the gist of a novel down; for others, about rewriting an existing novel, or writing short stories or poems, or – well, anything, really!
Today, NaNo has the Young Writers’ Program, which works with K-12 schools to get kids writing in the classroom, as well as Come Write In, in which libraries, bookstores, etc. can sponsor write-ins for NaNo. It’s a great way to write with buddies, and stay motivated.
Because let’s face it: writing can be a lonely business!
And that’s actually one of the main goals of NaNo – to ensure that writers around the world have a global – and regional – support group. You can post your word count, connect with writers on the forums, and meet up with local writers for write-ins. The Wichita KS group, for example, has a standing appointment at a local restaurant each week. If you’re in the area, you’re welcome to drop by and write!
It’s good to go into NaNo with a plan, though (besides the 50,000 words, that is). Goals might include things like:
- Finally taking all that sick leave you’ve been saving up.
- Starting that novel that’s been in the back of your mind for the past six years.
- Finishing last year’s project.
- Avoiding work and family like the plague so you can spend time with your characters instead. After all, they get you.
- Revising and rewriting an existing manuscript.
- Having a ready-made excuse for not cooking or cleaning during November.
- Doing character sketches. Sometimes, we need time to just let them talk to us, after all. Those long, dark November nights are the perfect opportunity.
- Working on your short story techniques. Or practicing short-short stories! One 1667-word story per day is all you need! Or, if that’s too long, two 850-word stories.
Right now, around the world, there are people who have boxes full of notes and notecards, champing at the bit, as excited as most five-year olds are on Christmas Eve, just dying to get started! They’ve already set up schedules, blocked out hours of time, warned their families, canceled plans with friends. They’ve set their goals. They’re raring to go!
My goals for NaNo are simple rewrites. If time permits, I want to finish the historical romance I worked on last year. But I’m really focused on finishing my urban fantasy, and its sequel. I don’t know if that will take up 50,000 words or not! But that’s my goal.
So if you haven’t checked out NaNoWriMo, you might want to. It’s a great chance to dedicate yourself to writing – and because the focus isn’t necessarily on good writing, or even completing a project, you feel free to do whatever you want. You may find yourself taking risks with your writing, experimenting with a genre, a character, an idea, or a technique you might not otherwise have thought about doing.
And if you win – get your 50,000 words done, that is – you, too, will get a nifty banner for your Facebook page. 🙂