It’s November therefore it’s NaNo, or NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. Well, it is for me and for a few other members here and for thousands of writers around the world. So it really should be International now.
But what is it?
It’s a challenge. You’re asked to write 50,000 words in 30 days. If you succeed you get no prizes, just the glow of your own novel. Oh, there’s a certificate you can print and fill in yourself, and a coupon for a free copy of your book in print from Createspace – but you still have to pay shipping. There’s a shop, where you can buy yourself a prize if you want – there are mugs, pens, t-shirts, all sorts of stuff.
But that’s not what it’s all about. It’s about chaining up your inner editor who makes you agonise over the words you choose. Wrap duct tape round their face and refuse to listen to their griping about apostrophes and adverbs.
It’s about running round to get errands done in super fast time so you can skid into your chair and write a few hundred words before it’s time to fetch the kids from school. It’s about trying to stay ahead of your best friend and cross that 50,000 word line before she does. I haven’t actually achieved that part yet, and it’s my seventh year of taking part, alongside the same writing buddy.
It’s a way of increasing pace and just vomiting forth those 50,000 words, or more, into a document and cracking the back of that novel you just know is lurking inside you. By the first of December you could have the core of that novel, the bones of something wonderful.
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