Everywhere I turn lately, I see NaNo…blurbs, emails, blogs, articles, even classes. Yes, there are now classes on how to prepare for NaNo. For those of you who aren’t aware, NaNo is short for National Novel Writing Month. http://nanowrimo.org/ A writing challenge of 50,000 words in 30 days. In the past, I’ve always balked. November is a horrible month with Thanksgiving – traveling or having family and friends come en masse – and the beginning of the holiday season.
But this year, I’m intrigued? Maybe I should sign-up, pushing aside my perfectionist ways, with the hope of completing the first two weeks. But wait, there’s more! That’s right, Thanksgiving is a week later this year, falling on the 27th. That makes three weeks or 22 days of writing like mad. Any words after that will be icing on the cake, as they say.
The breakdown to complete the 50,000 words necessary to be recognized is 1,667 words a day. When I’m in a groove, 1,000 words is my comfort level. So, the non-math genius that I am, I grabbed my calulator and worked it out. If I make 1,667 words for 22 days, my grand total will be 36,674. Not too bad.
Not the finish line as far as NaNo is concerned, but my own personal goal. In changing my perspective, I’m changing my attitude. Thank you, Cathy Chant! I no longer see it as setting myself up for failure. Now I’m re-arranging my goals to challenge myself.
The other change in my thinking is to prepare for NaNo. Several blogs have advised to brainstorm in October and have a roadmap. Alexandra Sokoloff’s blog, http://www.screenwritingtricks.com/ is the perfect example. She encourages, “I am pretty sure that far more writing, and far more professional writing, would get done in November if Wrimos took the month of October to really think out some things about their story and characters, and where the whole book is going.” I agree.
So how about you? Have you ever participated in NaNo? Any wisdom to impart?