Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? I had heard about it for years, before trying it out for myself. I participated this year, and while I may not have won I had a great time.
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it runs from November 1st to November 30th. The goal is to write 50,000 words, which is essentially the length of an average novel. NaNoWriMo is also a non-profit organization that helps young writers, communities, and local bookstores. You can read more about their mission here.
This is a very lofty goal if you are not used to writing regularly. I got inspired to finally take the plunge and join after reading this post from Boho Berry. //Thanks Kara, for showing me how to pronounce “NaNoWriMo.”
Here’s how my novel writing fared:
I only wrote for about four of the 30 days in November, and I made it to 3,505 words (11 pages). Now I know this is waaaaay off from the goal, but this is a great start for me! Sure, I had a vision of completing my novel in one month, and doing a victorious happy dance. But I just didn’t have the time.
My job is in peak, due the holiday season, and by the time I get home I am dead tired. When it came down to it and I had to decide whether to spend my time on the novel or the blog, the blog won. And I’m glad, I’ve made some really great progress on the blog, and I’ve made some really great connections!
I don’t consider my first NaNoWriMo a failure, though. 11 pages is a great start to a novel, and I made a really great outline to take me through the rest of the story. I’ve never had a complete outline of a novel, and I have such a good outline, I actually know the last five words! And let me tell you, when I thought of them, I almost cried.
So here are my takeaways:
- I wrote 11 pages of my novel!
- I have a complete outline of everything that will happen in the novel, even the last five words!
- My husband started his novel! He didn’t reach the goal either, but he started it, and that is huge!
NaNoWriMo Room for Improvement
- Next year, I will create my outline before November so that when I start I have direction and don’t have to spend precious writing time figuring out where the story will go
- I will create a schedule to write at least two days a week. Even though that’s probably not enough to reach the 50,000 word mark, it will get me a lot further than I got this year
So what do you think? Are you up for the challenge next year? Have you ever tried NaNoWriMo?