Well, writers, we’re one week into NaNoWriMo 2017. I should’ve talked about it sooner but, hey, I’ve had a lot on my plate. Point is from now through the end of November, I will be bringing you posts about NaNoWriMo success stories, tips on how to best make it through those 50,000 words, and distractions to keep you from going entirely insane from this process. (Of course, we’re writers; I’m not sure many of us were sane in the first place.)
If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, here’s a brief explanation: National Novel Writing Month (shortened to NaNoWriMo) is a sort of writing sprint. Every November writers, both novice and experienced, dedicate their spare time (and then some) to writing a 50,000-word novel in thirty days. To some, it sounds easier than it actually is; to others, it’s a petrifying prospect of monumental proportions. All I know is that it’s not easy and it’s not for everyone.
If you want to learn more, follow this link to the official NaNoWriMo website.
A confession: I have never participated in NaNoWriMo and I don’t plan to this year. I have a feedback session and a critical response due before the end of the month. I’d rather not hold myself to a deadline of 50,000 words in thirty days if I don’t have to.
But that leads to my first word of advice: if you don’t succeed this NaNoWriMo, it won’t be the end of the world. Whether you run out of time, run low on steam, or decide that you just can’t do it this year, it’s no big deal. It’ll boost your self-esteem and put you ahead of schedule on your next book if you finish, but it won’t break your career if you don’t. Just have fun with it.
Here’s some more advice: if you simply can’t fit NaNoWriMo into your busy life this month, make your own Novel Writing Month. You won’t have the community and virtual badges that you get when you participate in the official national event, but the badges aren’t the point, are they? The point is to kick your writing rear in gear and finally put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard). You can find your own community in friends who write, forums, and, as always, this blog.
For those who are taking part in the official NaNoWriMo 2017, I suggest checking out these inspirational quotes from published writers gathered by Writer’s Digest for the occasion.
Be sure to keep an eye out for more of my tips and success stories as the month rolls along (when your hands start cramping from all your writing). Until then, good luck to all participants!
Have you taken this challenge before? Do you have any personal NaNoWriMo successes to share? Advice for newbies? Drop a line in the comments below or e-mail your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to have them featured on this blog.