NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month
by, 20th September 2011 at 06:57 PM (304 Views)
I'm posting this as part of my 'Getting Published' blog, recording my attempts to get a book published but this isn't really about what I'm writing so much as a positive experience for all aspiring writers.
NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month but it is no longer 'National' but very much 'International'. (As evidenced by the fact that I, a British writer, am currently promoting it and it is an American project.)
The challenge is that you write an entire novel, of at least 50,000 words, within the 30 days of November. Sounds big, I know but it's doable. I should know since I successfully completed in 2009. (54,000 words within 28 days!)
At the end of those 28 days I was left with a novel that I spent the next year on/off editing and generally getting ready for publishing. I sent it off to literary agencies and they all rejected it. I know everyone says you should keep trying but I had a revelation. It wasn't good enough and it certainly wasn't my best work. (If you look at the rest of this blog you can see me talking about this in more detail.)
Now, I know that sounds like a bad thing but I don't regret it. Not any part of it. It was a great dry run and, most importantly, it showed me that I'm capable of finishing a novel. I finished the entire story. I had never ever ever ever ever gotten anywhere near finishing a novel before, in spite of starting dozens. I think this is the case with many aspiring novelists.
It didn't matter that what I'd written wasn't a great story because I'd learnt from it. I'd learnt that I was capable of writing a novel and that is something I'll always have. Without NaNoWriMo, I wouldn't have stood the slightest chance of becoming a professional novelist. (It's still far from certain but it's about 1000 times more likely than it was before NaNoWriMo now!)
I didn't compete last year and I probably won't compete this year because I have enough projects on my plate at the moment and the last thing I need is a brand new novel on the table to nurture and love.
So, consider this blog post a challenge. See what you are capable of if you are considering becoming a novelist or anything similar. Explore a new hobby if you've never even thought about this.
NaNoWriMo starts on the 1st November. Will you take the challenge?
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