That time is about here – NaNoWriMo. It’s the big talk of the town in the writing word. So many of my writer friends have or plan to do it. The process is tedious and the rewards are – well, for me just bragging rights. But I’m sure there are more rewards. What is NaNoWriMo anyway? You sign up on the website and try to write a novel in thirty days during the month of November. How many words? 50,000, no more, no less. Just so you know, 50,000 is the minimum word count for a novel. So you’re likely thinking, “Man! That’s a lot to write in just one month!” And you’re right to think that. It’s a big task, and many people start only to give up half way through November.
So if you want to do NaNoWriMo, you need to understand a few things. It’s a big commitment. 50,000 words in thirty days is a lot of writing, so you need to know how much you can realistically write in that time. You’ll be writing everyday, including weekends, if you want to make the deadline. So you can bet that you’ll be writing anywhere from 1500 to 2000 words a day. You also need to have a lot of free time. If you’re in school full time, you have enough writing to do, so you may want to rethink NaNoWriMo. School is, after all, more important. In general, you’ll need to commit to writing in the evening after work into the wee hours. You may have to write during your lunch break. Another thing is that you’ll have to have your story planned out, or at least know your story and characters enough to carry a 50,000 novel. One thing to note is that NaNoWriMo expects you to write a new story. You can’t write a story that you have been writing before the start date. The organization wants you to write from scratch, and that is the whole purpose of it.
So you should participate in NaNoWriMo if:
- you can commit to 50,000 words in one month
- you want to test your skills as a serious writer
- break out into the writing world and achieve initial recognition
- you have a solid story in mind and you know your characters
- you possess strong time management skills
Sadly, I won’t be participating this year. I’m a graduate student and I have enough writing to do as it is. Plus I have a novel and a novella on the go and I like to work on them in my spare time. I hope to try it someday, but it will only be when I know that I can make the commitment. If you decide to participate, I wish you the very best of luck and hope you successful in it.
If you want more information visit NaNoWriMo.