If you are not familiar with the creative writing world, you may not know that November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Thousands of new and experienced writers will challenge themselves to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. It works out to about 1666 words per day EVERY day for 30 days.
The event began in 1999, and in 2014, there were 325,142 participants on six continents. That’s a lot of creative writing! Think about it: if each writer met their goal, there were 16,257,100,000 words of creative fiction written last year in November.
The creators of NaNoWriMo make it fun, with write-ins, where writers gather in groups to cheer each other on to higher word counts, pep talks from well-known writers, forums to bounce ideas off each other or just to procrastinate, and online badges and other items.
I participated several years ago and loved it. It freed up my writing, quieted my inner critic, and helped me work “in the moment”. I may be guilty of using a few extra words in some sentences (“very very”), and I do admit to obsessively checking my word counts, but I made my goal. 50,000 words in 30 days. At the end of the month, I uploaded my text document to their validater and received an awesome certificate and bragging rights. And the cheers and support from my family, which were pretty great too. Some of those 50,000 words still exist in the draft today, including a scene that made me cry when I wrote it and stands virtually unchanged today.
I won’t be participating this year because I am still doing revisions to my current draft. But I will be reading the pep talks, following their FB feed, and supporting my writing friends who are participating. So, how about you? Have a story idea in
your head and a few extra hours this November? Why not consider joining in the fun. You never know where it might lead. Write on.