It’s Thursday, that means that my post on Eclectic Bard Books is up here. Go have a gander after reading this post.
NaNoWriMo is fast approaching. For those new to it, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, aka November, aka 30 days of literary abandon where you write a 50000 word novel in month. That boils down to an average of 1667 words per day, every day, for 30 days.
This will be my 5th year for doing NANO. I’ve won some, and lost some. But really, any words down are a win right? I may not have won the NANO title, but I won in making my writing a priority. I won in practicing my craft. I won in connecting with an amazing group of authors! Speaking of, . . . a friend of mine posted something in the Nano group online and I asked her if she would mind sharing it with my readers.
Sharing her words of wisdom, Lazette Gifford speaks from the voice of experience. I shared with you last year for Nano prep her advice on outlining. I have been following her plan and it makes the writing so much simpler, so there isn’t a lot of time spent staring at the screen wondering what next. You can review that HERE on last year’s post – Tic-Toc nano o’clock.
Let’s talk a little about doing NaNo the original way.
Back when NaNo started, the goal was to prepare everything (if you prepared at all) and begin on November 1. A lot of people don’t see the sense in waiting when they get excited about their story and they leap in early. That’s fine if that’s what you want to do, but I have to tell you . . . you’re missing out on some of the fun.
If you wait, there is an entirely different feel to NaNo. No matter where you are in the world, as the clock ticks closer to 12:00 AM November 1, there are people sitting, just like you, watching the time inch closer to the start of NaNo. The feeling of thousands of people preparing to write their first word just as you are preparing is something you will not get anywhere else. There is no other intellectual challenge in the world like NaNo, and waiting with all the others for that moment when we all reach the GO GO GO stage is incredibly fun. There are chat rooms all over the internet where you can sit in with others as they get going. And even if you can’t start at midnight, you will find others who are joining in about the same time as you and rushing to get their 1667 words for the day (or more if that’s what you enjoy).
Over in Forward Motion we have a NaNo Chatroom where people gather, especially as the first hour nears. This is usually fun for the US group. The East Coast starts, Central joins in, Mountain a bit later, the West Coast — and finally even Hawaii if we have anyone that year. Many of us stay as long as we can to see at least the group after us get going. We come back often over the next month to continue to cheer each other on.
The final word count for November isn’t as important as two other aspects. First is to have fun. NaNo is not anything to get upset about if you don’t do well. Second is to learn something about you and writing. That might be that you don’t like the way you approach writing for NaNo and never want to do it again. That’s all right- NaNo is not for everyone and it certainly isn’t required for you to become a published author.
You might find out that you need at least a little plan to stay on target. This is really helpful if you intend to submit to a traditional publisher. If they like your work, chances are very good that they’ll want something more and you will be on a deadline to complete the work. Learning to work to a deadline before one is forced on you will do wonders for your career.
I’m preparing for the November 1 starting line. I might not be there at midnight, but I will still enjoy the feeling of joining all the others in that month-long intellectual sprint of writing madness.
So whatever you do, be sure you enjoy taking part!
Lazette Gifford is a prolific author, photographer, and sometimes cover artist who lives in the wilds of Nebraska with her husband, several cats and a small but entirely useless dog. She writes every day and has done so for decades, and soon will be working on her 100th novel.
After several years in the small press publishing world, Zette has moved to the exciting life of an Indie published author, with several novels and short stories released and often well-reviewed. You can find links to her work on her personal website at: http://lazette.net
A collection of novels written during NaNoWriMo can be found here:
I”m excited to do NaNo again, there is just something about the atmosphere . . . and the volume of words on virtual paper whether I reach 50000 or not.
Remember, go read Eclectic Bard Books HERE.
Write on my friends, write on!