Writerly Life

Happy NaNoWriMo!

For those of you who aren’t writers, or aren’t familiar with NaNoWriMo, this post is to inform, inspire, and share my experience thus far.

NaNoWriMo (pronounced nă-nō-RĪ-mō) stands for National Novel Writing Month. I first heard of this when I read Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt in January 2010. At that time I had no interest, hope, or plan to ever draft a book in a month, but I read it because I was looking for a breakdown of the writing tasks involved in writing a novel. Prior to this, my writing consisted of articles, essays, research papers, journals, and a short story. I wanted to put my imaginary worlds on paper for others to read, but felt extremely inept at tackling a project so large and so outside my non-fiction experience.

It wasn’t until I went to dinner with a few friends from the writers’ guild last month that I seriously considered attempting this challenge. Liz asked if any of us were doing it. I asked more questions. Pat said she had done it, and shared how she broke the challenge into smaller daily goals. I smiled and nodded thinking how nice for them. But later that night, I couldn’t get the thought out of my head. I needed more information.

The next day I googled NaNoWriMo, found their website (www.nanowrimo.org) with a lot of information and encouragement. I learned that there are local groups meeting up virtually through Facebook and Google+, as well as meeting up in real life to write at local coffee shops, restaurants, and libraries. I also found a lot of information on YouTube. The videos were entertaining, offering the pros and cons of this challenge, and most of them displayed a great sense of humor.

So, I thought and researched some more. I came to the conclusion that I have nothing to lose. If I accomplish the challenge, I will have a 50,000 word draft of a novel. If I don’t accomplish the goal, I will still have more words on the page than I do now. It costs nothing to accept the challenge, so it is truly a win-win. I put a NaNoWriMo widget to the right of my blog so everyone can see my progress—or lack thereof.

Today is day two. I met my first day’s goal yesterday, writing 2072 words and completing a chapter. I have enjoyed meeting new people online through the local Facebook page. I am planning to attend a “write-in” next week to meet some of my new friends in person. I love that most of the people attempting this challenge are serious about their writing, but humorous, self-deprecating, and encouraging in their interactions with each other. Since writing can be a very lonely enterprise, it is refreshing to write within a community. Writers are posting (on Facebook, Twitter, the NaNoWriMo forums, Google+, blogs, etc.) to share their accomplishments, encourage others, give advice to newbies, problem solve, and to productively procrastinate.

Now, back to my novel ☺

1 thought on “Happy NaNoWriMo!”

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