Yes, it really is October 1st. Fall has begun, temperatures are getting ready to drop, and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is only one month away. Are you ready for NaNo? I hope your answer is yes, but I am not ready at all. If you answered no, then at least I am not the only one feeling unprepared for the challenge of writing 50,000 words in November.
This year will be my ninth NaNo, so I am probably more prepared than I think. I still remember making the big decision to give NaNo a try on Oct 31st in 2007. I won that year, but the effort and time it took was enormous. I kept strictly to the schedule they set of writing 1,667 words per day. I was terrified that if I fell behind I would never catch up. That first year I probably wouldn’t have caught up if I fell behind.
I learned a lot about writing and about myself that first year. It was the first time I ever completed a long writing project. My ‘novel’ was just over 50k and I was so proud. I knew the novel wasn’t very good but it was mine. NaNo taught me I could complete a project, I just needed the right motivation. That year I finished on November 30th. The day after my finish I vowed to finish on the first validation day the next year. (the 24th I believe at that time).
Each year NaNo has been a different challenge. I made my goal in 2008 of finishing on the 24th. My fastest finish was in 2009 when I wrote word 50,000 on day 11. My longest novel was just over 80k in 2011. I have written in genres from a NA alternative history to a YA portal fantasy. I have written some of the worse paragraphs of my life during NaNo, but I have found some of my favourite stories to tell as well. I have plotted, I have pants it, although most years are somewhere in between.
Possibly the best part of NaNo for me is getting together with other emerging writers. Several of my writing friends aren’t doing NaNo this year because for various reasons it isn’t their cup of tea, but we all have a common goal of trying to get words on the page. We get together and chat, eat, and write.
Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Have you finished before? What are you most looking forward to this November?