What is NaNoWriMo? I hear you ask.
If you’re a writer, or even if you’re a reader of unpublished (and even some published) writers on the internet, you will come across this word. For me, it took about five occurrences before I took an interest in what this strange, unfamiliar (but certainly an acronym) stood for.
But I’ll save you the trouble and summarise it in a sentence:
“NaNoWriMo, standing for National November Writing Month, is a personal challenge for writers to construct a novel (at least 50,000 words) during the thirty days of November.”
Prizes? There aren’t any significant ones, unless you count 5 copies of your book as a proof-copies (even so, you have to pay postage). And the rest of the so-called prizes are mainly discounts on writing software –which would come as use for a lot of people, but I’m plain and stick to the free (demo version; still works though) Writer’s Cafe.
So why take the challenge in first place? Here’s why: because it drives us to excessive ambition. 50,000 words, can you imagine? For some writers, it’s their daily routine: for others, such as myself, it’s a major head-spin.
Not because I don’t write often, I do, but because it balances out my need to procrastinate in almost everything I do. (I recently found out that, if I have a ridiculous amount of chocolate in the fridge, I can’t eat it. I always think, “I’ll eat it later.” And then never do. What’s wrong with me?)
Back to NaNoWriMo. This challenge brings a sense of accomplishment into the picture. If you’re somebody who never finds the time to write, this is your chance: make this month count. Every word you write down isn’t flawless –but that’s the whole point of it.
Get that first draft finished, edit it like there’s no tomorrow, and query to the million agents/publishers (who’ll probably reply with rejections) but it’s okay, because they didn’t deserve your masterpiece in first place. Then, just when you’re about to give up, somebody will come around and love your writing.
And that, my friend, is the beginning of it all.
Now, I’m not saying it’s impossible to write a novel without NaNoWriMo, because that’s just insane. But it’s the perfect motivator for you to write that novel you always dreamed of: the one you’re sure everybody else will acknowledge, because it has pieces of you in every page.
Out of pure perfectionism, you’re afraid to put a word down. Write a couple of sentences, realise it’s not a masterpiece before pressing the delete button until you’re staring at a blank page.
If this sounds like you, NaNoWriMo is just what you need.
Join now at http://www.nanowrimo.org/