Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? It stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it happens each year in November. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel, or the first 50,000 words of a longer novel, in just one month. (Why they picked November, a 30-day month with a long holiday weekend, is beyond me.)
The idea intrigues me, but since I’m not a novelist, I’ve never tried it. Some year I will.
Despite never participating in NaNoWriMo and not being a novelist, I think I understand the allure. As I mentioned last week, I’m on my own writing quest; 85,000 words in ten weeks. Two weeks into it, I’m exhilarated with my writing. I’m sure the same feeling often hits NaNoWriMo writers.
Writing a large number of words every day, without fail or excuse, requires discipline. It means grabbing every moment of my allotted time to write. Distractions are not permitted. Email and social media are off-limits. My wife gives me quiet.
It also requires focus. Keeping my eye on the goal, I write with intention. With laser precision, I type words to make sentences to form paragraphs for the various sections. Chapters birth with regularity.
My ballooning word count electrifies me. I want to write more. Even when it’s time to go to work, I wish I could keep writing.
It’s also stressful, but a good type of stress, productive, fulfilling stress.
Though I fully expect my pace to wear thin as my quest continues, knowing the prize waiting for me at the end of the road will spur me on. A finished book looms as my reward.
I suspect the same thing occurs for each NaNoWriMo writer.
What are your experiences with NaNoWriMo? Will you do NaNoWriMo this year? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.