Today is October 31st. That means tomorrow is November 1st. November is National Novel Writing Month, or for the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo. It’s an opportunity to challenge yourself to write daily and madly, and to leave your inner critic wailing and lonely in the dust, while you write side by side with an astounding number of your best writing friends online and/or in person. The support is great, and you could end up on December 1st with a finished draft of a novel that you can then edit and perfect now that you have it actually written down. The hardest part of writing a novel is getting that first crappy draft done.
Here’s the details. Sign up for a free account at NaNoWriMo (https://nanowrimo.org/). The goal is to write a novel (draft) in a month. 50,000 words in 30 days. For those who need help with writer’s math, that means you write 1666 words, or 6 ½ pages, every day. You can write 6 ½ pages a day can’t you? Maybe. Maybe not. If you don’t give it a try, you will never know. This is a great time to push yourself and find out. It will cost you nothing but a commitment from yourself to yourself, for a month, to be a writer. Thirty (30) days. That’s it. It’s FREE!
A Trick of the Light, my urban fantasy novel published July 1st of this year started out as a NaNoWriMo experiment, by the way.
On the NaNoWriMo website, you can track your progress and your word count. You can get pep talks and support from other writers. You can write in the privacy of your bathroom, or living room, or library, or you can go out and find a NaNoWriMo write-in location somewhere nearby and write with other people around. You can meet other writers online and talk about plot and character development if you want to. You can do whatever you want any way you want. The point is to just sit your butt down and actually write.
This is a great opportunity to get involved with your dream of being a writer while you are surrounded and supported by other like-minded people, instead of just talking about it, wanting to do it, or thinking about it. BE A WRITER!
Here is the most important point…It doesn’t matter how crappy the draft is. It doesn’t matter if your sentences are not spectacular, or if your project doesn’t appear to be the next great American novel. It doesn’t matter if your writing sucks. It doesn’t matter if you fail. It doesn’t matter if you only write 25,000 words, or 10,000 words. It doesn’t matter.
It only matters that you write.
Get your story out of your head and onto the page. Sit your butt down and write the crappy draft. That’s it. That’s how you write a book. It all starts with the crappy draft. And NaNoWriMo is the perfect excuse to actually write the book. It’s your excuse to be a writer.
I am going to work on my current project. Join me for NaNoWriMo. Let’s write together.