This is for the crazy people. The insane, over-enthusiastic, overly-optimistic people who really love reading or writing.
I’m one of those people, and this is my favorite time of year: National Novel Writing Month is coming.
Every November, thousands of people join in a month-long writing escapade that is NaNoWriMo. Their goal? Write a 50,000-word-or-more novel before the month is through. That translates to about 1,667 words a day. If you reach 50,000 words or more without cheating (or, okay, with minimal cheating) then you “win” a sense of pride and accomplishment, plus a nifty certificate. The writing doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, the event encourages imperfection to the opinion that having content is more important than making every word perfect the first time around. It’s a caffeine-fueled, sleep-deprived, inspired month of insanity. Every year I have moments I want to quit and every year I work through it. It’s basically the best and worst thing of your life. This will be my fifth year participating and hopefully my fifth year winning.
I’m getting excited early this year; it has come to the point where fall leaves changing color and the crisp chill in the air signal not only Halloween and Thanksgiving, but also NaNoWriMo. And yet it’s still very unlikely that I will plot my novel ahead of time. I’ve never been good at mapping it out. I like to go with the flow and let the characters surprise me.
Out of the four novels I’ve written, including themes such as conspiracy theories, pirates and mermaids, Victorian steampunk, and a fairy tale quest, about two of them are absolute crap and two could become pretty decent novels. It’s just a matter of not saying I’m going to edit them but actually working on them. Despite that, I’m really proud of what I’ve written, even if I never end up finishing them.
Check out what has become NaNoWriMo’s anthem by YouTuber italktosnakes! It shows exactly what happens throughout the month, in musical form.
Why do people like me love this event so much? Well, have you ever said at least once in your life that you were going to write a novel someday? If you haven’t, I don’t believe you. If you have, then this is the event for you. I’ll take no excuses. November is one of the busiest months for me every year, and somehow I still succeed. Even if you’re working a full time job, or going to college and working on the side, or say you have other “more important” things to do, I still won’t take it. Drop everything and start writing. And even if you don’t reach 50,000 words, you’ve still written more than you would have, and that’s something to be proud of.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Have you participated in previous years? I always love hearing about NaNo experiences!