If you read yesterday's blog you know that November 1 starts NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write every day for one month, allowing you to reach 50,000 words by the end of November and have a (short) novel-length story completed.
Yes, it may seem overwhelming, but it is definitely do-able and fun to try.
If you are planning to try your hand at NaNoWriMo here are some things to consider:
1. Jot down some story notes now:
Because of the time-crunch that is NaNoWriMo, it helps to have some sort of plan of what your story will be about and who the main characters are. You may also want to sketch out a few key scenes or major turning points in the story.
Now, I know that some of you don't like to plot out stories in advance (neither do I), but in this case having even a very, very loose map will help things go smoother. Especially if you only have a short amount of time each day to produce the maximum number of written words.
2. Don't worry about perfection:
NaNoWriMo is not about finishing the perfect or even publishable manuscript. It is about getting words down on paper and creating a rough draft that you can later revise and rewrite. More importantly, I think, it's also about accomplishing something many people only dream about.
3. You are not alone:
One benefit of NaNoWriMo is that you are not alone in this. Thousands of would-be writers, and quite a number of already-published authors, use this month to kick their work into high gear. Why not benefit from the vast number of supportive emails, blogs, workshops and more that exist for NaNoWriMo participants?
4. Public spaces will be open for "write-ins"
Coffee shops, libraries and other gathering spaces have gotten used to the fact that during November, writers will stop in and bury themselves in their work. Some have special hours where you can join fellow writers and just write the hours away.
The official NaNoWriMo website offers tips and inspiration to keep you going throughout the month. My own advice, don't think. Don't analyze what you are writing or what direction the story is going. Just go with the flow and the let the words unfold. NaNoWriMo is about stream of consciousness writing not award-winning, bestselling prose.
Personally I think the real benefit of NaNoWriMo doesn't rest in the idea that you will finish a book in a month, but rather that you will join a collective of writers all of whom are making their creative endeavor a key priority in their lives.
And if you are looking for some more inspiring words to get you on your writing journey, consider picking up this motivational writing guide.
Yes, writing friends, it is that time of the year. Time to sharpen your pencils, flex your fingers and begin pounding on the keyboard as November is National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo.
If you've never heard of NaNoWriMo, the concept is simple: If you write just 1,666 words per day, every day then by the end of November you will have written 50,000 words--the length of a short novel.
Notice that I said the concept is simple, the acutality is a bit harder. After all, if you are going to write a novel in just a month you'll have to forgo some things (laundry, dishes, catching up on Netflix, etc.) and focus singularly on your writing.
Can it be done? Sure! Last year more than 40,000 people wrote at least 50,000 words. (More than 430,000 people worldwide participated in NaNoWriMo overall last year.)
Can you participate in NaNoWriMo without it being your ONLY focus for November? Yes. After all, we still have to deal with Election Day, Thanksgiving (just don't offer to host this year's festivities if you are participating in NaNoWriMo, it won't turn out well, trust me!), not to mention Veteran's Day, Black Friday and just, you know, your day-to-day life.
So when do you write? During your bus or train commute, while waiting in the pickup line for school dismissal, While waiting at the doctor/DMV or other appointment, before breakfast (yes, you will be getting up early/staying up later to get your word count in), on the train or plane for Thanksgiving with the family, before sitting down to said Thanksgiving meal, after you've spent way too much money on Black Friday. You write instead of going for your usual manicure. You write instead of leaving your desk at lunch hour. You write instead of going to the movies or out with friends on Saturday night.
In essence, you write anytime you can grab a few minutes during the day. (And if you have a flexible schedule that will allow you to write for an hour or two at a time, well, you are really lucky!)
NaNoWriMo does take a commitment, but as a writer you have to make the commitment and show up and do the work. Plus, it's a great challenge and a wonderful way to flex your writing muscles.
COMING TOMORROW, Part 2: Things to consider if you want to try NaNoWriMo.
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I was flipping through Mishpacha magazine's special Sukkot edition and look what I found book_magazine_ad.pdf! This is the first time I've ever seen my book in an ad, I'm thinking it looks pretty nice. Trouble Ahead will be out in November.
Writer, Editor and Author of the Achdus Club novels for girls.