Once again November’s upon us, and that can mean only one thing. It’s time for an ever-growing, challenging worldwide event! No, I’m not talking Movember/Novembeard. I do of course mean it’s National Novel Writing Month!
The premise behind National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is simple. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November, beginning at midnight on the morning of the 1st and ending at midnight on the 31st. The only rules are that you cannot have started writing your novel before the start of November (although planning is fine), and that you should not do any kind of editing along the way. (You are of course allowed and encouraged to edit all you like post November). The idea is that many people, like myself, have a nice floating notion that maybe they’d like to write a novel someday, but are completely terrified and put off by the thought of taking on such a mammoth challenge. The point of NaNoWriMo is to completely remove the fear factor from the word count. It’s definitely a case of quantity over quality. By knocking out such a large amount of writing so quickly, you realise that actually it’s perhaps not such a daunting task after all, but is a lot more fun and easier to get going than you thought. Then there’s nothing to stop you from later taking a bit more time to bash out a wonderfully creative and polished masterpiece while laughing in the face of the word count, which you know you can reach.
I’ve always liked the thought of NaNoWriMo, but I’ve been put off by the thought of having to fit it in alongside essay writing and research. Now that I’ve left uni and have a bit more time on my hands, I decided this is the year to give it a go. I have a vague recollection of attempting it once before when I was around 15 or so and giving up after approximately three days, and I must say that I’m not feeling much more confident this time round as it will kick off at midnight tonight and I currently have less than one idea. It’s a bit of a nerve-wracking place to be in. But it should all be fun and games, and as they like to say in happy clappy talk shows, it will be ‘a journey’ and ‘a learning curve’ and all those other poorly applied descriptions. So if anyone would like to join me (a bit last minute) in giving it a go this year and attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days (and having seen how quickly some people have been able to knock out a 20,000 word dissertation, there’s really no excuse not to!) then you can find out more details, info and encouragement here. If you give your location you might also have the opportunity to go along to local writing sessions for mutual support/panic and hopefully plentiful tea. And if anyone has any ideas that they’d like to pass on to me before midnight tonight, please help me!