NaNoWriMo: Because This Exists, and the World Needs Better

It all starts here.

It all starts here.

This November, I’m trying National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). 30 days, 50,000 words – that’s about 1,667 words per day. And I am terrified.

Generally, I write short form fiction and poetry. I’ve started countless novels, but they’re all currently lying about in various stages of abandonment. I have trouble finishing what I start, and I don’t know if it’s just because I don’t plan properly, or I get bored, or I don’t do enough research. But for one reason or another, I’ve never finished a novel. And I would really, really like to.

I owe this adventure mainly to a couple of very creative friends of mine. You can check out two of their blogs here and here. The point of NaNoWriMo is not to create a brilliant masterpiece or shining work of literary genius, although I’m sure some people will. It’s more about giving you the push and support you need to just sit down and write. To end the month with a rough draft of the novel you’ve always dreamed of writing. And it might be crap – first drafts almost always are – but at least it’s there. You’ve got something to work with, and that’s further along than you were before.

I was hesitant to join at first. Hell, I’m still hesitant. I’ve known about NaNoWriMo since college, but I always made excuses as to why I couldn’t do it. Too busy, the holidays are coming up, I don’t have an idea, etc. But now I’m calling bullshit on myself. I can make time, it doesn’t matter that the holidays are coming up, and I have an idea. Everyone has an idea floating around in their head somewhere, don’t they? It’s just a matter of figuring out how to transfer it from your head to the page.

So if you’re considering NaNoWriMo, stop considering it. Do it. They give you the tools and encouragement you need to take the leap, and the occasional kick in the pants to keep you going.

You’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain. And if you need a final bit of convincing, consider the fact that this excerpt is from a published book:

“Torolf was ashamed at being caught, but his shame made him even hotter – hotter for sex. He stepped into the room, and his bulging abs accidentally smushed into Hilda’s rich chest.

As Hilda’s buttermilk bosoms squished up against his granite abs, Torolf almost had a dick aneurysm.”

Yeah. The world needs better.

It’s time to get our NoWri on.

78 Comments

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78 responses to “NaNoWriMo: Because This Exists, and the World Needs Better

  1. I did that once. Didn’t finish my book though, but I did write just over 20,000 words before I got frustrated with it. Never picked it back up, but I plan to eventually. Either way, I’m working on another book right now, and I have just over 25,000 words. I’m not going to the NaNoWriMo this month though, I’m going to try to finish the entire thing by Thanksgiving. Most likely won’t happen, but I would love to have it out by the time Black Friday comes.

    http://krysteendamon.wordpress.com/

  2. Reblogged this on jbiggarblog and commented:
    for a pantser the thought of this terrifies

  3. Go you! NanoWrimo is a great time for writers especially those like yourself who need an extra push.

    We would love to encourage writers to do the same with a 100 word story, it’s a great way to practice condensing down a story, picking out the essential points and deleting (gasp!) others.

    good luck!

    Check out our blog! 100wordscampaign.wordpress.com

  4. Loved the last few lines of this.

  5. Yes! I hope you find it more fun than work… My first time was last year and finishing felt like such an accomplishment… And the gift just keeps on giving – I reread it this year and it was hiLARiously bad and the most endearing thing I’ve ever produced. Enjoy!!!

  6. Loving that book quote! Really? I’m a slow writer, constantly re-editing as I go, taking one step backwards for every one point two steps forward. I am thinking of doing Nanowrimo for this reason – to bang out a draft without time to constantly rehash what I have already written. Your blog has brought me a step closer. Thanks.

  7. I found Camp NaNoWriMo in June about 2 weeks before it started. For some strange reason, I decided to so it. I’ve been writing on and off for years. Every since I wrote my first Alias Smith and Jones Fan Fiction back when it was a new show on TV when I was in my teens. I finished those but I never finished any of my own work. Camp NaNoWriMo was the first time I wrote a book and the first time I wrote an ending. I am rewriting it at the moment.

    I am also doing the NaNoWriMo. Don’t ask. I do have my doubts about it because of the other book. I’m breaking one of Stephen Cannell’s rules about don’t leave the book until it is done. This one is also out of my genre and I may end up tweaking it a lot. It’s also first person and I don’t like writing in first person. So there are a lot of negatives in this.

    The one thing I had glued in front of my for the entire Camp Nano was Hemingway’s “The first draft of anything is sh*t.” so that the moment I said “I’m writing pure sh*t” I looked up and saw I wasn’t the only one. If Hemingway could feel that way, so can I. I also played a lot of games with myself to get the quota out for the day.

    I ended up with 70007 words on the last day before I threw in the towel. This one I don’t know but I think I need to give myself a lot of permission to change the story up.

  8. mpk

    If you have the desire to do it, that’s reason enough. I’m participating for the first time because something makes me want to write, and why not add a challenge to it? I self-published an ebook novel (“John Doe Versus Death”) last year for no reason other than the desire to do so.

  9. I’m doing it too and I’m equally as terrified for the same reasons! We’re in this together! :)

  10. briestoll

    Reblogged this on What Made me and commented:
    THIS IS AN AMAZING IDEA

  11. Pingback: Nanowrimo and Self-Publishing | storyweaver12346

  12. I must admit I struggle to sit down and write a blog post let alone take part in this. With me it is more to do with confidence as I don;t believe I am a very good writer, I think until I can get over my confidence issues I could not think of participating in this!

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