NaNoWriMo: What are You Doing this November?

It is almost that time of the year again, right after Halloween, thousands of people will be finding every free moment of time they can muster to sit down and write. NaNoWriMo is a yearly pastime for many, and a great way of getting a novel done without any excuses.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and every November it asks people to write a 50,000 word novel from the 1st until the 30th.


The official description from the NaNoWriMo site says:

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

It is an amazing experience, and there are support groups all over the globe. If you’ve ever wanted to try to write a novel, here is your chance to do it with others. I’ve tried to complete it twice now since first hearing about it, but haven’t been able to block off the time to complete it. For some reason, November always ends up being too busy, and I fall out of the grove. I am committed this year to completing 25,000 words and while I won’t be “in” NaNoWriMo because it has specific rules, I will be working on a long overdue pet project of mine that I’ve been hoping to give more attention to for some time: Vanish Effect.

I hope that all of you will check out NaNoWriMo, look over the concept, and maybe take the time to involve yourself. There is no downside if you don’t finish on time, everyone is very supportive, and it is always fun.

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  1. I’ve already signed up for NaNoWriMo. It’s my first year and I’m already mildly freaking out about what to write and finding the time to write around a 40 hr work week and freelance jobs… but I figure any amount of writing I get done is better than the no writing I would’ve done if I hadn’t signed up!

  2. I know 2 people who met through NANO last time around. They were looking for someone to provide critique on their writing of the opposite sex. They became friends online. They fell in love across the pond. And they met in person this summer. They are enjoying a tremendous long distance love affair now – between England and the US East Coast. So even if you don’t finish that novel, there’s always the opportunity of networking!

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