NANOWRIMO. If you are a member of any writing group, chances are you’ve seen this acronym pop up in the past few weeks.
It stands for NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth, and it’s as crazy as it sounds. During the 30 days of November, thousands of writers, myself included, will attempt to write an entire novel.
The organization calls writing 50,000 words a “win,” although most novels tend to be in the 80,000 – 100,00 word range. (For reference, this post is coming in at 334 words.)
I know it sounds nuts, but I have thought about attempting this since I first heard about it back in 2005. And seeing as it took 15 years to finish my first novel, I figured why not try to do the opposite and finish this first draft in a mere 30 days?
There’s a website, nanowrimo.org, that helps you keep track of your word count and provides resources for inspiration and motivation, plus advice and support from fellow writers who are also crazy enough to attempt this feat! They even have badges you earn through participating, writing and reaching personal goals. I earned one just for signing up!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been busy prepping—getting together the outline of the novel (a sequel to my first) and doing some research so I’m ready to write that first word on Tuesday, November 1st. My favorite prep move so far was canceling my 1 hour flight home for Thanksgiving, and booking an Amtrak train instead so I’ll have a good 5 hours of writing time each way.
Now that I’ve told you all about it, there’s no turning back. So I apologize in advance to my local friends if you don’t see me much during the month of November—unless you want to get together at a coffeehouse or another place where I can write!
And in the crazy spirit of trying to write a novel in 30 days, here’s some ironic advice I re-tweeted on Twitter. Where, by the way, you can follow me @ThisHammer.