…OK. Yes. It’s Halloween. I actually meant something else.
It’s the end of October. And tomorrow’s the start of November! And that means it’s time for National Novel Writing Month–also known as NaNoWriMo–a beloved annual event where writers try to write a 50,000-word story in a month.
Let’s chat about it!
I honestly didn’t like NaNoWriMo until I lived in a big city.
Honestly, the one-and-only reason I participated in NaNo last year–and the reason I’ll be doing it this year–is to socialize.
For a long time, I didn’t live in a place with a big writing community. I lived in small cities. I lived outside the United States. And no matter how many times I decided that I was going to hop on the forums and make digital friends, I… didn’t.
And NaNo is not that fun, at least in my opinion, if you do it alone. The thrill is in the community. It’s sitting in a room full of people who are desperately struggling to catch up, who are blazing through hundreds of words as fast as they can, and who are all encouraging each other to go go go! Without the community, well… I mean, you can write a book whenever you want, you know?
But if you’re in a place that has a decent local NaNo group (and you can check that by checking out NaNo’s Find a Region tool), it can be a lot of fun. Go to different write-ins. Chat with other writers. And if you don’t like them? Who cares! You’re there to write! Say your hellos, get to know everyone, then plug in your earphones and write for an hour. It’s the best of both worlds!
And even though I still think 50,000 words in a month is kind of silly…
Honestly. I know I said this last year, but 50,000 words is weird.
NaNoWriMo is an easy way for new writers to give themselves a challenge–and for that, 50,000 words is great. It’s high enough to be a challenge (especially if you don’t write) and it requires you to write nearly every day.
But most adult fiction is longer. Heck, most young adult fiction is longer. And I write fantasy, which can be just shy of twice that long. I could maybe write a middle grade fantasy inside of 50K. Possibly.
You don’t have to complete a novel to “win.” But NaNoWriMo isn’t nearly as exciting when the goal is “let’s write 50% of a novel really quickly, then finish the rest over the next few months!” How am I supposed to celebrate that?
…I’m doing it anyway! And won’t be posting in the meantime.
I know! You must be heartbroken.
I won’t be posting until December. Because let’s be honest–I write 1,000-word posts, and I’d much rather put those words toward making that NaNoWriMo graph shoot up.
I’ll be back in December, hopefully with 50,000 words of progress beneath my belt and a few stories about the new people I meet–and maybe a few new friends?