National Novel Writing Month
Congrats everyone! We are halfway through November! I hope you’ve been joining in with the NaNoWriMo challenge this year and even if you haven’t it’s still not too late to join! Always remember that this is for fun, okay? NaNoWriMo challenges all of us writers to complete a project or try to reach 50,000 words by the end of November, but even if you don’t quite reach your goal it’s honestly the attempt that counts.
It’s not really about becoming a speed writer because that’s not how everyone works. It’s about establishing a discipline with your writing, it’s about getting you to sit down every day and write something whether it’s a few words or a few pages. Write at your own pace, write whatever your heart desires – the true goal is to write. Write nonsense if you have to but search within yourself to find that little spark of inspiration. Grab onto an idea and explore it! Maybe it’ll end up being terrible and something you laugh at later or maybe it will be brilliant and something your fellow readers would enjoy reading. You don’t even have to share your manuscript with anyone, just write for yourself. Write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, screenplays, short stories, anything!
This is my second year participating in the NaNoWriMo challenge and it’s been fun, challenging indeed but fun. Something about this event helps organize my writing. Since I’m not a published author with an agent, editor, publisher, etc. giving me assignments and deadlines it’s a little difficult to force myself into a constant writing regiment. Last year I wrote my first novel, a YA fantasy story. I spent one month writing it (NaNoWriMo), 2-3 months editing, then another 3 months plotting out the rest of the series, and I am finally writing the sequel for this year’s NaNoWriMo. I’m actually quite a fast worker…when I sit down and work. My personal struggle is sitting down to work, not the work itself. I’m used to having professors giving me homework with deadlines. Since graduating from college I keep searching for someone to give me deadlines because it is far too easy to convince myself to put things off. If a NaNoWriMo type event happened more often, if this were a school assignment, or if I had a publishing team relying on me then I could have finished this whole series already. Ah well, I can only hope to work harder and get better.
I’d be thrilled to be scooped up out of obscurity and launched into the publishing world but really I began writing as a way of escape. I didn’t even know if I’d be any good at it (I still don’t haha) but I was unhappy with my reality so I made up a different one to explore whenever I needed a break from my life. What started out as a small idea turned into an entire series and I’ve found myself truly enjoying the process. Even if I don’t win the lottery with a top book deal I think I might still consider self-publishing because I worked really hard on this project and my characters would love to share their stories. It might be a far cry from Harry Potter but I’m still rather pleased with it. Besides, this is my first try so there is only upwards and onwards from here, yes? (:
I really hope you’ll consider signing up at NaNoWriMo.org and jump on in with the challenge. It’s already halfway through the month but you can use this time to give it a try, familiarize yourself with the site and the challenge, and get prepared for next year. Or perhaps you’re far more self-motivated than I, in which case go ahead and start writing now, tomorrow, next month, next year, whenever but don’t put it off too long because before you know it you’ll wake up having skipped this adventure entirely. You will never know if you don’t try.
Good luck and best wishes to all of you currently participating in NaNoWriMo! Don’t quit! Just keep going!