Because the World Needs Another NaNoWriMo Post

— November 02, 2009 (11 comments)
I must not have been very connected to the writer's blogging world last year, because I can't ever remember hearing so much about NaNoWriMo all at once. Why am I writing about it too? Because I'm aware that not all of my readers are writers, and may not even know what NaNo is. Friends, this one's for you.

NaNoWriMo is short(ish) for National Novel Writing Month. Each year in the month of November, thousands of writers and wannabe writers disappear as they attempt to write 50,000 words in one month. The idea is primarily twofold: (1) to prove to yourself and others that you actually can write a novel -- time is not lacking, only motivation -- and (2) to give yourself said motivation with deadlines and accountability (i.e. all the other writers who are doing the same thing).

The contest is free. The rules are loose. There is no prize.* It's just fun. As someone who once wrote a novel just to prove to myself that I could do it, I can fully appreciate the heart behind NaNo. I've always wanted to do it, but I don't think Cindy would understand why I had to disappear for 2-5 hours every day until I wrote 1,667 words (really 2,000, because I would need days off). Or rather, she might understand, but she wouldn't put up with it.

Also I'm not sure I need it. Not like I'm some crazy-fast writer or anything (I'm really, really not), but I know I can finish, and I figure I'll get faster with time. Plus this way, I don't have to abandon my wife and children any more than I do already.

If you want to know more, the NaNoWriMo website has all the information you could ever want and more. So what about you? Are you doing NaNo? Why or why not?

Also, because I wasted about a half hour on MST3K clips today, I found one to share with you.

* Other than the use of an image on your website and self-confidence... Come to think of it, that's a pretty good prize. I could use some more images.

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  1. Good evening. Now that our US clocks have ‘fallen back’, you are - an easier to remember - 12 hours ahead.

    About participating in NaNo, no, I won't be participating. Like you, I've finished a novel, and I've learned that as hard as writing that first draft may have been, editing the manuscript into a polished, cohesive, fast paced, enjoyable, and completed novel - well, that was the hard part.

    I’m now building my agent “prospectus” and making up my mind about whether I should finish the second novel in the series before I begin the submission process. And I’m reasonably confident that I will one day be saying – “getting to publication – well, that was the really hard part!”

    I wish everyone, who does participate in NaNo, the best of luck. That first hill has to be overcome before the next stretch in this long journey can be faced.

  2. I am a NANOer, how I got started. This is a great post, thanks for giving the NANO world a plug!!

  3. And I just have to say THANK YOU for a little taste of MST3K!!! Oh my goodness gracious but that was a blast from the past!!

  4. One and a half "wasted" hours could have been your 2,000 words for the day! That's about how long it takes me, anyway.

    I do Nano for the fun of it. It's great writing with other people, I love the meetings, I wish I could manage to get to the write-ins. I've "won" three times out of the four I've done it and it's a huge rush. Plus my family and friends cheer me on.

  5. No Nano, but oh. my. gosh. THANK YOU for bringing my attention to the fact the MST3K is STILL out there! LOVE that show!

  6. I laughed out loud at your blog post title... and THEN you gave me MST3K and Twilight? Awesome.

  7. Yeah, definitely going to save the MST3K goodness for a time when I won't disturb my coworkers with hysterical laughter.

    Sounds like a good plan, yeah?

    As for NaNo, I'm not doing it because I can't guarantee that I'd be able to put in the requisite amount of time every day to hit the word count. Scratch that ... I know I won't be able to (two jobs plus cleaning the house will do that).

    But I congratulate everyone who is.

  8. fairyhedgehog wrote: "One and a half 'wasted' hours could have been your 2,000 words for the day! That's about how long it takes me, anyway."

    I'll grant you that. Though 1.5 hours doesn't equate to 2k words for me (not normally). My average is about 400-500 words per hour.

    I'm glad everybody likes the MST vid. Gosh I really miss that show.

  9. I've been planning this story out since our holiday at the beginning of September, so the words are just flowing this time. Plus, I now understand how little the crapness of the first draft matters. And I'm back on the QWERTY keyboard. So I managed 3000 words today in an hour and a half. I didn't know I could do that.

  10. I've never done NaNoWriMo. Did do NaBloWriMo last month. I think I'm not doing it because I know I wouldn't get it done. I'm under contract for a book now, but I have a ton of research to do before I begin writing.

    Straight From Hel