Friends! Dreamers! Writers! It is time to climb that mountain, to go where no man has gone before, to slay the dragon, to not go quietly into that dark night, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...
We are half way through September, which means it’s time to start prep for NaNoWriMo! NaNo-what… you say? National Novel Writing Month is an annual challenge to write a novel (50,000 words) in 30 days during the month of November. In other words, it’s the time of year when all your writer friends start foaming at the mouth and breaking down the door of the local coffee shop. It is exhilarating, optimistic, and crazy and masochistic all at the same time.
Before we get into the specifics, I’ll plead my case.
Why on earth should I do such a crazy thing?
You have always wanted to write a novel, but you don’t have time
Good news! NaNoWriMo is a time management boot camp. It gives you the space and support to find those hidden minutes in our day and empowers you to make writing a part of your daily schedule. You will be amazed at how much time materializes when you start to get creative and make writing a priority.
It will punch your perfectionist tendencies in the face
NaNoWriMo is about QUANTITY not QUALITY. It’s a first draft, which means you are simply getting words on the page so that you can go back and edit later. If you are a perfectionist (and let’s face it, most writers are) then NaNoWriMo will silence that inner editor that keeps you from filling up the blank page. When the need to hit your word count for the day is the priority, you will soon forget about the perfectly placed comma or the most poignant word. Repeat after me: “Editing is for December. Editing is for December.”
You will be part of an international writing group with thousands of other writers
Do not underestimate the power of peer pressure! If you’ve ever been in a writing group, you know that half of the motivation to write comes from just knowing that there are people you need to be accountable for and who will ask you if you are writing. NaNoWriMo is your college writing workshop on a red bull, cotton candy, and coffee smoothie. When you become a part of the NaNoWriMo community, you gain thousands of cheerleaders and a mountain of momentum. You will use that energy to do amazing things in November!
THE WORLD NEEDS YOUR NOVEL
That’s right, if you don’t write it, no one else will. Your novel is unique just like you are. There is no one else who can tell this story. Don’t let your story stay caged inside your skull. Get it out and let is blossom. You might be surprised at what you see when it’s finally on the page.
You will have done something that most will never even attempt
You will have stared down the monster of fear and said, “I am a writer, and I will not be silenced!” You are powerful and brave, and probably a little crazy. But let’s face it, all the best people are.
Did I scare you off yet?
It’s not as crazy as it sounds. When you break down 50,000 words into 30 days, it comes out to writing 1667 words per day. That’s just a little bit longer than this blog post. If you have been wanting to have more of routine for your writing, then this is a great way to keep you motivated. If you are one of those people that can write 10,000 words on the first day, you will be ahead of the game. Go you! (also, you are a freak and I hate you…just kidding…sort of). If you only manage to write 10k words for the whole month, guess what? That’s 10k words you didn’t have before November. I have failed NaNoWriMo more times than I have won it, and it has been worth it every single time. You will learn new things about yourself, your writing, and make amazing connections.
Ready to get started? Stay tuned for more posts about how to set yourself up for success and lots of tips and tricks along the way! Follow me on the blog, connect with me on facebook and twitter and instagram @laurelnakai . I will be writing along with you and facing all of the same obstacles. This is my eighth year participating in NaNoWriMo, and though I have learned a few tricks along the way, it is still a challenge every year, and I always learn something new. I’m so excited to take a new journey this November with all of you!
Here’s how to sign up:
Go to http://nanowrimo.org/ and click the “SIGN UP” button. Create your account and start to explore! The NaNo team is still setting up for 2016 registration, but you’ll be able to create your novel soon, with a working title and synopsis. It usually opens in the beginning of October. For now though, check out the forums, blog posts, and archived Pep Talks. There are specific forums for “NaNo Prep” which have lots of great info on how to start preparing early so that you are ready on November 1. For more help signing up and details about what to expect in November, check out the "How it Works" page.
I am still working on my full synopsis, but I’ve had my premise for several months (echem): The daughter of a famous musician and sound engineer has lived her entire life on the road with her rock star parents. When her mom decides to leave the tour bus and move back to her rural hometown, Jimi’s life turns upside down! – A Middle grade contemporary novel…title to be determined (crowd source ideas welcome!)
What will you be working on this November?