It’s (almost) that time of year again: NaNoWriMo

If you listen carefully you may be able to hear the distant chant starting: “NaNoWriMo! NaNoWriMo! NANOWRIMO!!!” Yes, word-loving folks are beginning to get fired up about the annual month-long, international writing marathon that is known as National Novel Writing Month. It happens every November, and it arrives on the heels of Halloween … eek! …  just one week from tonight.

The idea is to write a complete novel of at least 50,000 words between November 1st and November 30th.

I know, I know, it’s insane. The quality of the writing is secondary to the quantity, and that very concept turns off people who consider giving anything but their best is a waste of time. Why write garbage? Why not slow down and make the effort count for something? Truth is, those who want to write a novel but over-think the details, often bog down before they ever get to ‘The End’.

A well-known line in writing circles is, “You can always revise a first draft, but you can’t revise a blank page.” I suggest adopting Nike’s motto: “Just do it!” Devoting November to NaNoWriMo gives us an opportunity to toss ideas out onto a page, and chase them along in front of us until a story is fully formed. Some multi-published authors use NaNoWriMo for this purpose, so who am I to suggest it’s not a valid novel-writing process?

FVRL PosterIn the spirit of encouraging those who have often thought they might like to write a novel but thought they didn’t have a lot of time to devote to the project, I’m presenting a lecture tonight, sponsored by the Maple Ridge Public Library. It’s called “How to Write a Novel in a Month”, and it’s an introduction to NaNoWriMo.

Yes, I’m an introvert and everyone knows I hate public speaking. Yes, I’m already having palpitations and wondering why I agreed to do this. It’s also going to help me kick start my own writing. Very public commitments have a way of motivating me forward — a little like getting a boot in the backside.

If you’re interested in joining me (either at the Library tonight, or in doing NaNoWriMo yourself), or if you have any questions that could use some answers, give me a shout in the comments below.

Oh, and on the NaNoWriMo website you’ll find me writing as Wildwood Gal. Come look me up and offer some sympathy.

Participant-2014-Facebook-Profile

 

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3 thoughts on “It’s (almost) that time of year again: NaNoWriMo

  1. Judith Robl says:

    I do so wish NaNoWriMo were some other month than November. I could take January or March and do much better. There are so many commitments and interruptions in November, that I will probably never accomplish NaNoWriMo in November. I wish you well in November.

    • Carol says:

      I’ve often thought that, too, Judith. There are two other NaNo opportunities each year, in April and July, promoted as ‘Camp NaNoWriMo’ (as per the graphic inaccurately chosen to accompany the Library’s poster). Camp NaNo isn’t seen as the same kind of zaniness, however, because participants can choose their own goals.

  2. Laura Best says:

    I hope the talk went well, Carol. While I don’t mind reading in pubic, I’m not very good at public speaking either, so I can certainly relate. And best of luck next month! 50,000 words in 30 days is a LOT of writing.

    I also want to say you must be extremely proud of Shari right about now! First novels tickle the heart like no others, for the author as well as the parents of the author. 😀

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