It has started! NaNoWriMo, peeps! Everywhere in the writing world, writers are attacking their new works in progress as they try to reach the word goal by the end of the month. Some may be successful and others may not. That’s okay. What you need to remember is that it’s not just the goal, it’s the journey along the way. So let’s talk about Nano’s journey.
For those of you who are new to the NaNoWriMo community, I’ll give you a little bit of background about this event. Every November, from 12:00 am on the 1st until 11:59 pm of the 30th, participants write towards the minimum goal of 50,000 words for their book. The goal is to get people writing and motivated throughout the process. The website provides tips for writer’s block, which I’ll include in the posts to come, as well as an online community of support. This event is about quantity not quality and the fact that you’re able to finish it as well as connecting with others who are in the same predicament. Don’t worry if you feel it’s bad and needs to undergo a massacre of edits. You’re going to have to do that later on anyway. But how can you edit something when you don’t have a draft to even work on?
NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) started back in July of 1999 with only 21 participants. By 2010, over 200,000 people took part and wrote a total of over 2.8 billion words. As the years pass, Nano continues to grow and has become the world’s largest writing event. It’s so amazing that in 2015, Amazon has awarded National Novel Writing Month $25,000 for 6 years as part of its philanthropic grant program, Amazon Literary Partnership, as they commend this small organization who started it all on bringing hundreds of thousands of stories into the world.
If you feel like you want to join the Nano club, go for it. Don’t hesitate, coming up with all kinds of excuses like “I don’t have the time. I don’t have the story. I’ll do it next year.” Because next year will come and go and you will be saying the same thing: “I’m not ready”. Truth is, none of us are. We all have priorities that can make us busy and distracted. That’s fine. You can work on it as you go. I don’t have an exact outline of what my story will be about but that won’t stop me from trying to make Nano a priority. If you have time to watch TV, stop to go shopping or make that chocolatey dessert you’ve been craving, you have time to write. It’s simply a state of mind. So make Nano yours for this moment.
No one knows what the future will hold nor any clue if Nano will continue forever. So don’t you want to be a part of it at least once…or at least one more year?
Also, some Nano books have gone on to be published works. So come dive in and join the party. Don’t worry what ifs. “What if once I write my book it might not be perfect? What if it’s only a good idea in my head.” Let go of the ‘what ifs’. So what if it’s not amazing. That’s how most first drafts are but they don’t have to stay that way. The first step, and hardest one, is to get started. The one thing you must remember is that you’re not just beating a deadline. You’re beating yourself. So if this is the first Nano you’re doing, work to outdo yourself from last year. If this is another year of Nano that you’re in and have yet to have reached that goal, then aim for this to be that year. Or if you’re one of those who succeeds in Nano every year, aim to make sure this is another consecutive year.
All in all, start now and enjoy the journey and writing buddies and memories that will come from it.
I’ll be writing posts every week with updates on my writing and tips I come across. So don’t be afraid to do the same. Now tell me, how is your Nanowriting going? Are you getting the Nano fever yet? J