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.
Picture is my own.