First, I should explain. NaNoWriMo is short for “National Novel Writing Month.” It’s a non-profit organization that has been around since 1999. They believe that stories matter and want to encourage writing. To date, over 250 NaNoWriMo authors have been traditionally published. (See the list of NaNoWriMo published authors here). Last year (2012), over 340,000 people all over the world participated. That’s a lot of potential novels!
So, why am I joining NaNoWriMo for the first time?
1. I need a kick in the butt. I finished the first draft of my novel They Also Serve (more about that someday) in late August and went to Ireland in September. Before I went, I was very disciplined about writing first thing every day, at least 1500-2000 words. Since I returned I lost that discipline. I need a kick to get it back.
2. Habits take 21 days to solidify. I got into the habit of daily writing easily and quickly. I got up every morning about 6 a.m., got my coffee, and sat down to write. I need to get back into that habit and 30 days in November should do it. Then, when I am done with NaNoWriMo at the end of November, I should have a good habit formed.
3. I am looking forward to the pep talks. Each year, NaNoWriMo asks published authors to give pep talks to participants. Everyone needs a pep talk to keep going, and this year should be good, with James Patterson and others to keep us motivated.
4. I’m wondering if I should join a writer’s group. Haven’t decided yet, but NaNoWriMo has some local groups and online groups I might decide to join. I would be most interested in a group focused on historical fiction or mystery writing. I figure I’ll wait and see who finishes the month with a novel. I’d rather work with and discuss with people who are disciplined.
3. I also think stories matter. I want to support NaNoWriMo, in more ways than just writing. My current novel and future novels will all have a theme of storytelling. Not just books, but oral stories and other ways to share common feelings and ideas.
Interested in writing a novel? Are you willing to commit to commit to starting or working on a novel in November? NaNoWriMo might be a way to get started. And even if you don’t get a full novel done, at least you will have attained some level of discipline. Like me. I’m determined.
- The #NaNoWriMo Checklist (writingishardwork.com)
- Countdown to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) | Accept the Writing Challenge and Turn Pro Now (veronicamariajarski.com)
- Preparing for NaNoWriMo (whypaperbeatsrock.wordpress.com)