“How long before you kill someone?” This question from a NaNoWriMo (National Write Your Novel Month) participant posting on the website Reddit.
Yes, November is the month when everyone from first timers to seasoned writers are invited to write because “The world needs your novel.”
The mantra from those at NaNoWriMo is to support anyone who has ever thought of writing a novel. Their secret sauce includes enthusiasm, determination and a deadline.
Last November I signed up for my first NaNoWriMo with great anticipation. Write a novel in a month? Could I write the recommended 50,000 words in 30 days? Hmm.
Of course the analytical side of my brain started to do the math. With a 30-day month like November, that calculates out to about 1666 words per day.
Sure, I thought, I can write 4000 words on a Saturday or Sunday. On my days off. But according to the folks who organize NaNoWriMo, “50,000 words is a challenging but achievable goal even for people with full-time jobs and children.”
Do they mean either or both?
The folks at NaNoWriMo chose this word count goal because it’s about the length of “The Great Gatsby.” And at most publishing houses, that’s the minimum length for a manuscript to be considered a novel and not a novella.
When I look back at my first of NaNoWriMo, I must admit I was inspired by the spirit of joining, like being in a special club. Friends, family and even strangers cheer me on for even small accomplishments. Frankly, I’d love to have this kind of encouragement every month as a writer who has a ‘day job.’
Now, I’d like to say that the entire experience – with virtual write-ins, local writing spots, and daily coaching emails – allowed me to reach the 50,000 goal last year, but it didn’t. What NaNoWriMo did do was jump start my second novel for Soul Mate Publishing.
And what am I doing this month? Yes, I’m participating again. By the end of this month, I will be typing “the end” to the story. Sure, it will have taken a year to write the novel. But you know what? That’s okay and I hope many other writers use this platform to start their stories too.
For grins, here’s a few more NaNoWriMo participant posts to show that we’re all in this together.
“I had a plan.”
If you’d still like to sign up, support another writer, or follow along, here are two popular links: