Wednesday, October 30, 2013

November is National Novel Writing Month

We're on the verge of another National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. Every November, ambitious writers take on the challenge of producing 50,000 words in one month. That averages out to 1,667 words per day. And a lot of them actually do it.

Last year, I was one of the winners of the Writers of the Future contest. Winning such a prestigious contest should have been a spur to produce ever more writing. Instead, I ended up with what I later found out was a fairly common after effect of such good news, imposter syndrome. I couldn't believe that I had bested thousands of other unpublished writers and ended up blocked. I did almost no writing for four months. In October, I decided to sign myself up for NaNoWriMo just a way to force myself to start writing again. Taking an idea I'd come up with during a writing conference a year earlier, I started a new novel with only a vague notion of where it might be going. In 30 days writing I cranked out 42,000 words, finishing up part 1 of the novel.

The novel continues being written. It is now over 190,000 words and has been split into two books. This November I'll work on it again and hope to add another 50,000 words and maybe figure out where this story ends. Yes, a year later I'm still writing it seat-of-the-pants and the story continues to evolve.

NaNoWriMo is a good way to kickstart your novel. I highly recommend it. In addition to the personal incentive it gives, you can have writing buddies online and there are local NaNoWriMo support groups. The FaceBook page for our local group in tiny, rural Humboldt County has 101 subscribers, so writing your novel doesn't have to be a lonely pursuit.

Good luck to all who take the challenge. May you be a NaNoWriMo winner.