NaNoWriMo is Here! Rachael Berkey

Every year, writers around the world spend the month of November climbing their own personal Everest. Under the leadership and encouragement of the National Novel Writing Month team, writers sign up and pledge to write 50,000 words by month’s end.

The exercise is a marathon of prompts, encouragement, frustration and, by December 1st, hopefully success.

I signed up this year. It’s my first. It’s only day 3, but I’m feeling pretty good. I’ve met my goal each day. I’ve even surpassed it a couple of times.

Given my talkativeness, I somehow doubt getting 50,000 words on paper will be a problem for me.

NaNoWriMo, as it’s known colloquially, is a great way to meet other writers online, form new healthy writing habits, support literacy nonprofits, and challenge yourself to be a better writer.

It’s also a great way to bully yourself. That’s part of why I signed up.

There’s an interesting element of self-imposed peer-pressure to NaNoWriMo that hadn’t really occurred to me clearly until I tweeted that I was signed up. Within minutes, three or four of my followers had tweeted back that they had signed up too. A couple of those followers were relatively new to me. Some were old friends. Regardless of how I knew these fellow tweeters, it felt like a collective sigh of relief was released.

“Oh thank god. I’m not alone. You will harangue me if I don’t do my writing, and I can harangue you if you don’t do yours.”

Now I don’t encourage actual bullying. Some people will fall off or fade out of NaNoWriMo as it continues. Some people will gloat as they update their word counts every day. They may upload novel covers to the community site, jump on the forums with words of advice, or keep a running commentary on a public GoogleDocs version of the novel they’re writing. I actually thought about doing that myself.

If you’ve ever said to yourself, “I could do it. I could write a novel,” or even just thought it was something you wanted to do, you should check out the site. It’s really awesome. I’m legitimately excited to have this hanging over my head for the next month. We’ll have to see if I’m still singing the same tune after Thanksgiving.

PS. Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday!

Picture is my own.

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  1. I love NaNoWriMo! I have done it twice before and it always jump-started my creativity – plus I work really well with deadlines. I’m writing a much harder novel this year and I’ve been too sick to think straight but that’s why NaNo is so great – marathon sprints at the end to reach the finish line. Good luck!

  2. I now know what to look forward to next November. Yay

  3. OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU FOR WRITING THIS ARTICLE! I am currently working on a novel and now will have to check this thing out! I recently self published a poetry compilation, fIVE FOOT VOICE and am working on my second, ONION HEART. It is so inspiring to see and hear from other writers!!! Good luck to all with their 50,000 words :)

  4. I am also participating this year… and I actually self-published the book I NaNo’d last year and later quit my day job for it so it can be done!
    I encourage everyone to write, even if they already know they won’t be able to make 50k words.
    Good luck everybody!

  5. I tried NaNoWriMo last year for the first time, having no writing experience. I mean, I’ve been keeping a diary/writing down thoughts for years, but never before a story, with a plot and characters. I chose to write something very tricky and difficult to me, for personal reasons and unfortunately I didn’t manage to complete it. This is year, caught up in work, I forgot about it and did not have the time to get prepared. So I’m not patricipating this year, but even thought I failed the last time, I had goof fun. It’s a creative and intersting process and I wish I would have been able to be a part of it now. I definately will next year. Have fun, everyone participating! x

  6. Participating in Nano myself this year, great post!