Have you heard of NaNoWriMo?
(The sound of it reminds me of the Mork and Mindy Show when Robin Williams would say, “Na-no, na-no” at the end. Remember that?)
But NaNoWriMo stands for NOVEMBER NOVEL WRITING MONTH. Here’s the website: http://www.nanowrimo.org/
What is it? It’s something every writer should do at least once. If you do it once you’ll be motivated to do it again, and it’s a great way to WRITE AN ENTIRE NOVEL. It’s where writers make a commitment to themselves and ANNOUNCE it to others that they will write 50,000 words in the month of November.
NaNoWriMo— Is a way for writers to write “along side” other writers all across the world. (There’s something about misery-loves-company, knowing others are pounding out their words makes me feel like I’m on a team.) At NaNoWriMo all writers are connected through the website by signing in (it’s free! but donations are welcome) so even if someone lives in Australia you can “connect” with them and share success stories. Every writer there has the same ONE goal: to write 50,000 words in November.
Here are the facts on WHY you should participate and how the website can help:
- No one scolds you if you don’t make your quota.
- You get a certificate at the end of the month if you reached your goal.
- You receive encouragement from other writers who are working toward the same goal.
- Other writer cheerleaders applaud for you.
- You don’t have to share ANY of your sentences. (Thank goodness, this is your first draft and NO ONE should see that!)
- You have nothing to lose if you don’t reach your goal.
- Sometimes making a commitment to yourself and others makes you work harder.
- It gives you a chance to share your dreams with your family. If they know you’re working toward a goal then they’ll be more cooperative and share in the excitement when you reach it. Put your daily word count on the refrigerator so you family can cheer you on, too.
- Being accountable to someone else increases success.
- The website allows you to track your words and see your progress. That’s handy. And visual.
- There are forums at the site that give you the opportunity to talk to other writers.
- You can find other writers in your area and build relationships and find critique partners.
- It forces you to write poorly. Huh? Yes, it forces you to NOT stop and edit your work. The goal is to reach word count—not to write the perfect prose. There’ll be time for rewrites later.
- It gives you bragging rights at the next writer’s conference you attend.
- It makes you realize that you could do this every month if you use the same discipline.
What should you do now? It’s October. You have almost three weeks left to prepare your outline for your novel, so when November 1st rolls around you can WRITE. Go to the website and log in, browse around the forum and waste some time there. You’ll be glad you did.