National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo, is a crazy, wonderful adventure that kicks off every year on November 1. For thirty days, hundreds of thousands of writers around the world put aside normal stuff like going to work and doing laundry, to hunker down and churn out a 50,000 word novel. On December 1st they may be broke and dirty, but they have something tangible, an entire book, to show for it. Well, about 20% do. That’s how many participants go on to actually write that many words in a month. I should know. NaNoWriMo ’13 will be my sixth attempt, with only one “win” to show for it. However, I have to say that participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time in 2008 started me on my journey to getting published in a very real way.
Though I fell short in 2008 by about 15,000 words, I eventually finished that novel, and it gave me the courage to keep writing steadily. I’ve written at least a book a year ever since. The book I started last November I eventually finished and submitted to Decadent Publishing, where it will be published later this year. Writers have to write, and nothing makes that more clear, or more simple, than NaNoWriMo. It’s purely about output. Quality has nothing to do with it. You win if you sit in your chair and put words on the screen. It’s liberating to have that be your only goal, and the pace (1,667 words a day for 30 days) is doable if you push yourself.
I encourage anybody who ever even considered writing a story to try it, and see what you learn about yourself and your writing. And if you participate, please add me as a writing buddy so we can cheer each other on! Good luck!