By Warburg [CC BY-SA 3.0] WikiComms
I’m a reader; I love books and I love reading. I have been harbouring a little idea that I would love to read about, a really interesting type of story that requires quite a bit of research to do it properly, but it just wasn’t to be found. Then I thought maybe I could write it myself! But I’m not a writer, I’m just a reader and I should just stay put and let all those other people write for me.
A bit selfish perhaps? Lazy, you think?
I stumbled upon the National Novel Writing Month challenge literally the night before it was due to start. The challenge starts every November 1st.
The National Novel Writing Month, often referred to as NaNoWriMo, is a yearly challenge to all writers to write a novel, or several novels, short stories, or in fact anything, in the month of November. In effect, it is a 30 day challenge. The challenge is to reach a word count of 50,000 words in 30 days or less. You ‘win’ the challenge by writing 50,000 words,which you must copy and paste into their web-site to validate the word count.
The basic idea behind the challenge, is to write as much as possible on a daily basis without editing or even researching much. The editing and revising process is not part of the goal. A writer will most likely finish up with a first draft of a novel, and will then work on that in the future some time. The premise is to just write and sort it out later. At least the basic bones will be written. Information at nanowrimo.org
I signed up for it on November 1st.,as soon as I found out about it and I am absolutely sold on it! There are some detractors concerned about the quality of the writing produced or the ‘stress levels’ that this type of challenge can generate. I agree that is possible, but for many (including me) it has been a great experience so far!
The web-site is well organised and very helpful,promoting communication and conversation about writing at all times. I have found it so much fun, so far. Although I may not meet the 30 day ‘deadline’, I am learning so much about writing and sharing my writing queries with so many other fellow writers. It is really being an enriching experience for me….
It’s this “community feel” that has really exhilarated me; the forums, being able to ask advice and get answers immediately on my specifics queries, and I am so much enjoying this process!
There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of young aspiring writers who are using the site, organising write-ins, word sprints, connecting up, conversing about writing, plot structure, character arcs etc. I think there must be one or two future authors in the making, without a doubt. In 20 years time, some famous authors will remember their first NaNo days no doubt. I hope I’m still around to see that.
There are all sorts of writers using this ‘boost’ to writing. Many are new like me, many more are fully fledged writers, who are there on-line during this month, just to help out newbies struggling like me! I am so grateful for this constant support.
The main thing is that I’m learning so much about the writing process that I have taken me years to glean (and there’s not enough time left for me to take it slow!) and that I’m getting my novel out of my head and finally onto….the screen(?)
What does it sound like to you? Too much stress?
More next time…