It's Knocking On Your Door – NaNoWriMo

It’s that time of year again. Just as you’re feeling hung over, double stuffed with all the chocolatey loot you swore was for the neighborhood kids and are dreading the prospects of cleaning up from your Halloween party – it’s time for NaNoWriMo! That time of year when writing veterans and noobies a like all sit down and agree to attempt to write 50,000 words in a single month.

Awesomeness ensues.

Alright, probably not awesomeness. More likely at this point you’re either ready (outline prepared, story idea ready, title just itching for you to put it down on paper) or you’re not (empty cobwebs fill your mind, you’ve never even heard of NaNoWriMo before, you know about it but still aren’t even sure you’ll be participating this year). Even if you’re one of the lucky prepared ones, actually sitting down and writing your 50k is likely to throw some serious curve balls into your life.

The good news is, even if you’re not lucky enough to be prepared to up to your eyeteeth for this marathon writing month, it’s still possible to start out on November first and have a great time. Here’s a few tips tricks and good to knows for both the prepared and the clueless:

For the Clueless

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which starts on the first of November and lasts the month through. The goal for all participants is to reach a mutual writing goal of 50k words in that time period. Some people write much more than that in that time period, some people write much less but everyone can participate at the website and enjoy the experience regardless.

Simply go to the NaNoWriMo website and sign up for a spot (be wary the website tends to load slowly as it’s often swamped with participants the world over). Finally even though “national” is in the title NaNoWriMo is open to anyone in the world, with a computer and an internet connection (or even without those two things). The rules are fully explained on the site but the short of it is, write 50k words for a single novel by the end of the month. You’re allowed, even encouraged to create your outline prior to that point but there’s no rules against taking time out of the month to create one if you prefer a plan to flying by the seat of your pants.

For the Prepared

Congratulations! You’ve already signed up for NaNoWriMo and you know the drill, you’ve even gotten your outline prepared if you’re a plotter not a pantser and you’re champing at the bit to get going. You’re already amazing and the month hasn’t even started yet!

For you, I’d encourage you to take NaNoWriMo as a controlled ‘test’ run. It’s a great way to figure out how much it’ll take out of your daily life to become a professional novelist. How you’ll fit your daily writing into your schedule around things like family, social obligations (NaNoWriMo is situated smack dab in the middle of the holiday season for Americans at least) work and of course the occasional play session that doesn’t involve writing. There’s nothing like sitting down and just doing it, even if you’re not sure how far you want to go with this whole writing thing to help you realize just how capable you are of handling it and if there’s anything in your life truly obstructing you from your final goals of becoming a Writer.

Good luck to everyone! Feel free to come back and post here about your progress throughout NaNoWriMo, I’d love to follow your works.

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