I should be finished the major revisions on my novel, In a Dry and Weary Land, by the middle of this month, so what better use would I have for my time than starting on a new one? With a big bang.
NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, helped give me a little nudge three years ago, and a big boot in the butt two years ago. Without it, I doubt I ever would have become serious about writing. I also learned, the hard way, that I write much better with some planning and a good general idea of where I'm going. I've made friends going to the organized write-ins, which we decided to continue year-round.
For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo started ten years ago. The challenge is to write a 50,000-word novel over the month of November. Prior research, plotting, outlining, all are allowed, but you can't start work on the actual writing until November 1st. If you do manage to crank out 50,000 words (they have a little upload program that will count your words), you win. All you win is bragging rights and perhaps a real sense of accomplishment. They have badges and widgets and participant profiles and forums and local events - a lot of pleasant kerfuffle. They also raise funds to sponsor libraries in the Third World. If you're interested in participating and/or donating, check out their website. A little good, clean insanity never hurt anybody.
I have never "won", but that doesn't matter. I have profited from my involvement, because I learned to write daily and to hold myself to it. Two years ago I was ecstatic to produce 36,000 words, about a third of what my novel would eventually become. This year I hope to get a good substantial start on the next one.
Wish me luck!
Technorati tags: NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month
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