It’s the end of October again and National Novel Writing Month [NaNoWriMo] is on the horizon. Writers from all over the world have the opportunity to network with other writers or go solo in tackling the challenge of writing 50,000 words during the month of November. Word counters and charts on the website serve as tools to keep writers inspired, motivated, and accountable.
I’ve told myself for a number of years that I would participate, but an excuse always weasels to interference. I did participate for about a week in 2013, but my progress was halted when I decided to apply for my MFA in Writing, thus devoting myself to the application package. I also participated in 2015 because the challenge matched up with my Literary Novel class (although it poured into December too and hasn’t amassed 20k words yet). Today, I have far more writing knowledge and skill under my belt and even some published short stories to help spur my confidence. The challenge is only four days away and I haven’t decided or committed myself to participation yet. Studies, kids, health issues… I’m making excuses again, aren’t I?
For those who are committed to participating, here are a few good resources to check out for tips on completing the challenge.
- 10 Tips on How to Finish Your NaNoWriMo Novel
- NaNoWriMo Prep: 30 Tips for Writing a Book in 30 Days
- Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo
- and this exhaustive list, NaNoWriMo Tip #1: Read Two Years’ Worth of Advice in a Single Post
Every writer is different and utilizes different approaches, writing/editing styles, and techniques for translating their mental stories into words. For many writers, it takes a combination of many different components. Stephenie Meyer abandoned the linear approach and wrote scenes she felt most interested in at the time, regardless of their place in the plot. The biggest goal is to produce words–no matter how messy or inconsistent they may be–for the purpose of a first draft. Drafts can be edited, but there is no draft to edit if we do not first take the plunge and write.