Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Link of the Month: NaNoWriMo

It may still be summer here for a little while longer in the Northern Hemisphere, but it's also just over six weeks until the first of November and with that, the beginning of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

I've got a whole chapter in "Write Every Day" about my experience with NaNoWriMo and how it might fit into developing a Daily Writing Routine. Here is an excerpt:

If you're excited about the idea of trying to write every day but nervous about doing it "on your own" here's an option to at least consider. You could jump into the deep end with tens of thousands of other people in November for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
The first thing I would suggest if you're going to try to use NaNoWriMo as a springboard to developing daily writing habits is to put your focus specifically on those habits and not on "winning" NaNoWriMo by getting to 50,000 words. If you've struggled to be consistent with your writing in the past and find that having the support of the community around the activity helps you write each of the 30 days but you "only" end up with 25,000 words, I would say that you'd have an accomplishment there to feel good about. The goal, then, would be to keep that rhythm and energy moving forward into December and beyond.
So, if I'm saying that trying to meet the stated NaNoWriMo objective of 50,000 words needn't be your top priority, why am I mentioning it at all? Simply because there is so much energy and support in the community around the event. The NaNoWriMo website has forums filled with conversations, particularly during the month itself. If you live near a decent-sized city you can also find scheduled "write-ins" where groups of people working on a novel that month will get together for part of a day at a coffee shop, library, etc. and hang around and write together.

If you're a writer who likes to have things planned out to some degree before you starting writing, now would be a good time to consider your approach if you want to participate in NaNoWriMo this year.

As for me, I'm not likely to actively do NaNoWriMo this year. I still need to revise last year's novel if I want to see it published some day and I don't need to be piling up more unfinished work. But I'll probably try to latch on to the energy around the month online and maybe try to go to a write-in or two.

Are you thinking about doing NaNoWriMo this year? If so, are you planning in advance or just intending to hit the ground running 11/1 with only the beginning of an idea?

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