Writers, Start Your Engines: It’s NaNoWriMo!

So NaNoWriMo starts this week!

What’s that?

It’s National Novel Writing Month — “30 days and nights of  literary abandon”! Prospective novelists are given the challenge to write a 50,000-word book from November 1-30, and they can all find support in one another to do so.

I watched it last year on the blogs — finding it particularly intriguing when the deadline was looming and authors were starting to pull all-nighters — but this year should be especially fun with Twitter involved! I’m sure we’ll be getting much more constant updates about who’s keeping up, who’s falling hopelessly behind, and whose characters are speaking to them in the middle of the night! It’s great fun, and writers look forward to it every year.

I thought about doing it this year. I love the idea of writing a “fast first draft” — I’ve tried it twice and it works great for me — but I decided against it for two reasons:

  1. I have at least a million other writing-related tasks I need to finish first! Sheesh. I need to write queries, finish a synopsis, make some editing changes, finish critiquing a friend’s book, and finish writing my second book. Since I can be the queen of Don’t Finish What You’ve Started, I figured NaNoWriMo would put me back a few steps: letting me start yet ANOTHER book without finishing any of the previous ones.
  2. November is sort of a cherished month in our home. It doesn’t come with the List of Things to Do that October and December come with — it just feels like a nice, relaxing holiday time to me, leading up to a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend, which I can’t imagine giving up to writing, frankly. And we often take the weekends to do fun things like go apple picking, and get together with friends, and get outside and enjoy our November weather, which is usually gorgeous. Plus it’s our anniversary month, and Superman and I try to travel when we can to celebrate our anniversary.

Soooo … no NaNoWriMo for me this year! But I’ll certainly be watching from the sidelines and cheering on my new writer friends from Twitter. I do envy them a little — writing a fast first draft like that is an exhilerating ride. You never know where your characters will take you or what they’ll do, and when your brain is thinking fast like that, it can get outrageously creative. (Maybe I’ll have to do my own NaNoWriMo in some boring month, like January!)

Until then, join me in watching on the blogs and on Twitter (it’s #nanowrimo hashtag, if you want to create a stream and watch all the chatter about it)!

How about you? Have you ever taken on the NaNoWriMo challenge?

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3 thoughts on “Writers, Start Your Engines: It’s NaNoWriMo!

  1. I did NaNoWriMo once, in 2006 I think. And it was a great experience, I really did get a lot done. I won’t be doing it this year – although I did consider, being on maternity leave and all. I agree with your comment that when you’re forced to write in solid blocks of time like that, you really can work out some wonderful scenes and characters.

  2. I just joined. Just blogged about all my excuses not to, also. Decided its the process not the product I need to focus on. I’ve actually encouraged others to join and so now I feel obligated not to bail on them. I’ve always been a closet writer. Just started this year really putting it out there. Figured what the heck and so I jumped. I’ve got a couple of writing buddies and a) there’s power in numbers or b)I have just found a few friends to commiserate with each day. I’m looking forward more to the chatter about it, actually. I’ll learn more this upcoming year and next year–watch out!

  3. Oh, Verbivore — I didn’t know you did NaNo once! But yes, you would have your hands full this year, with your sweet little newborn in the house! Did you like the “fast first draft” process? Did you ever do anything with the material you produced that month?

    Christina — So happy for you!!! I’m glad you just jumped with both feet and joined. It’s a great way to get you going on writing, that’s for sure. And yes, I believe it’s ABSOLUTELY the process in this case. I think it forces you to try the “fast first draft” process, which is definitely worth trying. I love it, myself. (But everyone is different.) On Tweetdeck, be sure to hit the little “magnifying glass” up on top and do a search for #nanowrimo. It will put all the chatter about it into a single column for you that will update in real time. Check in later and tell me how it goes!

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