It is November and for many writers that means NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The idea of NaNoWriMo is to write a 50 000 word rough draft of a novel in the month of November. As today is November 15, I suppose that means we should have written 25 000 words so far, but I confess I am no where near that goal yet. However, I have no doubt that I will indeed finish NaNoWriMo by November 30.
Do you have a novel in your head that you have always wanted to write? Doing the math it seems to me that even starting today many people could complete NaNoWriMo. If you started writing today you would have 16 days to complete 50 000 words, that would be 3125 words per day. I get that might sound like a lot, but if you write 1000 words per hour that is just over three hours per day. While three hours a day might be hard to fit in during the week with school, work, and family commitments, looking at the calendar it shows that six of the days fall on a weekend when most of us have a lot more time. Perhaps devoting extra hours on the weekend would mean less hours during the week.
If you think you might like this challenge check out the official website
A few thoughts to help you get started
-understand that this is a first draft-which means it does not need to be perfect
-Therefore don’t waste time trying to come up with a perfectly crafted sentence (that’s what 2nd, 3rd, and 4th drafts are for). Just get your story down.
-Also don’t take time to research or fact check. Leave that for the 2nd draft.
-When your story comes to halt just write on through even if what you are writing is rubbish. Things can be fixed later.
-If you don’t actually get to 50 000 words, so what? 30 000, 20 000, 10 000 are all great accomplishments. Be proud of what you have done
-You don’t need to wait to be a writer. Many people say after they get their degree or take more classes they can get write the novel they have always wanted to write. The best way to become a better writer is to write, a lot. Why not start with this challenge?
-It is never too late to be a writer. Sure you have writers like Bret Easton Ellis who published Less Than Zero at the age of 19, but then you have writers like Laura Ingalls Wilder who published her first novel at the age of 65.
If you decide to take the NaNoWriMo challenge this year please let me know. Good Luck!