I’m going to try again this year. I’ve tried in years past but things never came together: lack of time, lack of inspiration, fear of failure. This year is going to be different. What am I talking about?
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). By the way, November is the target month.
The organization that runs it is a non-profit based in the United States that aims to encourage writers from around the world. They have a number of different things that they do including:
- The Young Writers Program promotes writing fluency, creative education, and the sheer joy of novel-writing in K-12 classrooms. We provide free classroom kits, writing workbooks, Common Core-aligned curricula, and virtual class management tools to more than 2,000 educators from Dubai to Boston.
- The Come Write In program provides free resources to libraries, community centers, and local bookstores to build writing havens in your neighborhood.
- Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writing retreat, designed to provide the community, resources, and tools needed to complete any writing project, novel or not.
Every year they get hundreds of thousands of people working on their novels in the month of November in an effort to get the creative juices flowing and the love of writing growing. Here are some of the numbers for 2013:
- 310,095 participants
- 3,520,123,164 total words
- 11,352 words per person (on average)
- 42,221 winners (14%)
Edmonton, based on web site visits, was the 31st busiest NaNoWriMo hotspot in the world. There is a very active NaNoWritMo community in Edmonton staging weekly events during November at a number of different locations around the city.
So, yeah, I’m going to try it again this year, only this time I am going to be better prepared. I have a novel idea in mind, a number of key scenes all laid out in my mind, a general idea of the plot (working on a detailed plot outline), characters defined, etc. Whether or not I can do 50,000 words in November is going to be a challenge. OK, not necessarily 50,000 words as I exceeded that number when I add up all of emails for November, but 50,000 words on a single topic.
The focus of NaNoWriMo is completion. Finish the novel. Put the pen down. Editing is not part of the process, just the sheer act of creation which is good because sometimes I really hate my writing.