NaNoWriMo 2010

By | September 17, 2010

Ahhh NaNo.  A month and a half away and already starting to get excited and brainstorm a bit.  If the term “NaNo” (which is the short form of “NaNoWriMo”) doesn’t mean anything to you – it stands for National Novel Writing Month.   The site has a lot of information on what it is and a question section as well, but the introduction sentence is best:

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Well, first impression is that 50k isn’t a very big work.  I agree with the logic though.  It isn’t about having a nice polished piece of work, but a solid body of text that one can craft into a much better end product.  It is easier to edit when something is on the page.  In practice, it is much harder to hit those target’s than one would think.  I certainly found it hard the first year I attempted.  I got discouraged and behind in the very first week and ended up abandoning the project. (NaNo ’08) Last year (NaNo ’09), I refused to get discouraged and after a few bumps started to get in the swing of things.  I managed to go a little past the 50k mark and finished a couple of days ahead of schedule.

During NaNo I discovered a few things about writing.  The biggest single thing was that I really enjoyed the creative process.  It is where I decided that I not only am a writer, but want to BE a writer.  Also – I found I could write a lot more in a single day than I really thought.  For NaNo 2010, I am adding an extra 10,000 words to the basic goal to raise the bar a bit for myself.  It rounds out to a nice 2,000 words a day.  Not much more for the daily goal than before, but enough to really add up over the course of the 30 days.

Now, I haven’t done a whole lot with the novel I wrote last year.  After a couple attempts at editing, I decided to shelve the novel till after this years novel.  Then after the 30 days, if I am at a decent stopping point I will shelve that project and pick up the prior years.  This way I will be taking a whole fresh approach to the piece.  That is the theory at least.

If you enjoy writing and enjoy pressing yourself, but have never tried NaNoWriMo – I encourage you to take a look at it.  Sign up for the site in the next month and a half.  Check out the forums.  Find a couple of writing buddies.  (Writing buddies can really help keep you going.  The whole, “hey he is 2k ahead of me – I have to get caught up” really does work.)

If you do – get ready – its a blast!  You can find my user profile here.

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