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National Novel Writing Month is almost here! It starts again this November. It’s kind of a dorky event, so I figured it was a good topic for me to write about on this blog. Every November, thousands of people take up the challenge of writing fifty thousand words, an entire novel about anything and everything they can think of.

National Novel Writing month (NaNoWriMo), according to it’s official website, started as a small groups of friends in California taking a month to write novels together, combining the traditional process of writing with a block party. Now, in its thirteenth year, it has expanded into a community of over 200,000 participants run by a non-profit organization, whose website helps wannabe-authors from around the world share plot ideas, complain to each other about how hard it is to write 50,000 words in one month, challenge their writing buddies to word count games, or just chat in-between writing breaks. The most important thing that the website gives you, in my opinion, is a place to keep track of how many words you are writing and how many everyone else has.

50,000 words is a lot to write in one month. People have all kinds of strategies that they use to keep up. Writing 1,667 words per day keeps some people on track until November thirtieth. Writing all day on the weekends is the plan of others with full-time jobs. Others are left cramming in the hours before midnight of the deadline. Which one is most successful? I couldn’t really tell you. For the last three years that I’ve participated, I never made it past 10,000 words.

I think my problem is that I can’t turn off my internal editor. The point of NaNoWriMo is to spew out words as quickly as possible. They don’t have to be pretty, they don’t have to be good; they don’t even have to be useful. They can be crap, or they can be a character making a list of all the things he needs to buy at the grocery store or singing a song about the periodic table of elements. If you don’t get past perfecting every sentence after you write it, you’ll never reach the word count. The point is to get out that rough draft, take risks, and not judge what appears on the page. You can’t let yourself stumble and stop writing as you agonize over a conversation that you think will be key to the plot. The editing is for December and January.

That’s easier said than done. I find it hard to just write whatever comes to my head. I think about it first. I check the grammar after every sentence. Sometimes I can get a whole lot done in a short amount of time, but that’s only if a scene is dying to be written. I haven’t had enough willpower to plow through the boring parts or skip something entirely and just write whatever comes to mind next. I want to know where the story is going and how I’m going to get there before I press a single letter on the keyboard.

That’s why I’m announcing this to my blog. Feeling like someone is reading this and keeping tabs on me (let me pretend, it makes me feel better) will hopefully keep me motivated to keep writing and finally finish that word count. Or at least beat 10k. I’ve started afresh with a new account, so if you decide to join this crazy venture and join the site, find me, friend me, and struggle to 50k with me! I don’t have any idea where this is going to go this year. I have a feeling it’s going to be a challenge because of all the school work I have to do, so we’ll see how this turns out.

Happy Writing!

EDIT: I did not make it to 50k this year either, but I did beat last year’s score. At least I made progress?

2 Comments on “NanoWrimo!”

  1. Jeff says:

    I could never do it, but I’m certain you can if you try! So give it your best, and at least don’t give up until you set a personal record.

    (btw – MSWord says you have 641 words on this page…)

    • thediaryofadork says:

      Good point! I’ll start out just trying to beat my previous years’ scores.

      (Aha! I am a little behind in my word count so far, so who knows… maybe I’ll have to start counting blog posts.)

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