If you love to write and you are up for a challenge, join in on National Novel Writing Month (also known as NaNoWriMo), which starts on November 1st. NaNo first took place in 1999. Twelve years later, it is stronger and bigger than ever. The challenge NaNo poses? Writing a 50,000 word novel by midnight on November 30th. “Make no mistake,” the website states, “you will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing.” With weekly tips on how to keep the writing process going and guest articles by people who have done NaNo (including some pretty famous authors!) in the past about the process, there is a large support group for every participant in the challenge.
Sound a little crazy? That is because it kind of is. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears go into participants’ manuscripts. But, if you are one of the lucky who manage to complete the 50,000 words in time, it is a very rewarding feeling. And, yes, your piece will need a lot of revision work, but NaNo is a great opportunity to get your core ideas and thoughts down about a story.
There is no deadline for when you can sign up, as long as the manuscript is started after or on November 1st. The only “rules” they really have is: that the manuscript is not a previously written story (but you can use character and plot outlines and research you may have gathered), you write more than one word repeated 50,000 times, and be the sole author of the novel. More information, such as how to sign up and how to update your word count as the writing process continues throughout the month can be found at http://www.nanowrimo.org.
The important thing to remember is that whether you make the 50,000 words or not, you are a winner for even trying. Many may be daunted by the idea, but the fact that you even partake in such a challenge is a reward in itself.
So, if you decide to enter, have fun with it! From personal experience, I know that around the second week of the challenge it can get quite stressful, but remember to just breathe and keep on writing. Go with the flow! Read their weekly tips and just keep on writing. Good luck and happy writing!