The time is quickly approaching when I shall embark upon the 50,000 word challenge of National Novel Writing Month, more commonly known as Nanowrimo – and even MORE more commonly known as November. The name explains itself, but – for veterans and the uninitiated – Nanowrimo means a month long writing frenzy where the goal is to write an entire rough-draft novel in 30 days.
I am lucky enough to have a fantastic Nanowrimo group in my area that meets weekly during October and November. There we can talk to other people all embarking on this crazy adventure, swap plot challenges and ideas, give and take advice, get inspired, and just socialize. Tonight was the last meetup before November (other than the Kick-Off party on All Hallow’s Eve).
While I’m on this creative high, I thought I’d write to encourage any other wanna-be “wrimos” out there to find a local meetup, if there is one in your area. You can find out by looking up your region on the Nanowrimo site. If you can meet other authors, any time of year, there is something profoundly gratifying and energizing about the group dynamic. If not, you can still visit the forums, follow Nanowrimo or Young Writers Program via Twitter, or post via Facebook.
Since I’m not sure when (or if) I’ll get another chance to post before November, I wanted to get some last minute tips posted as well. If you are embarking on Nanowrimo this November, don’t forget to make sure your timezone is correct in your settings on the site, try to make some “writing buddies” – either in person or via the site – to compete against, and (if at all possible) try to complete all other writing obligations before November. You wouldn’t want to have to take yourself out of your Nano-novel in order to write on a completely separate project.
Also, I’ve found greed to be a powerful motivator. Usually I buy myself a prize that I can only keep if I “win” Nanowrimo. With the goods right in front of me, greed spurs me on and I make my goal. This year, one of my fellow “wrimos” is selling USB drive necklaces. Part of the proceeds are donated to Nanowrimo (coupon code NANO2012), so I’ve decided to make one of those THE PRIZE for myself this month. If you have something you covet that you’ve put off buying, this might be a good
excuse reason to indulge.
And finally, bragging beforehand is a time honored tactic for shaming myself into winning. The bigger my mouth, the more crow I’ll have to eat if I fail. So I don’t fail.
I’ve been trying to finish up my writing obligations before November, and because I’ve been so busy doing Young Writers Program lessons with my son and his friends, I have had almost no time to outline or brainstorm other than the meetup sessions with the other wrimos. So, other than some very loose character sketches, I’m pretty much winging things this month. Wish me luck!
Please, feel free to drop me a Nanomail or become my “writing buddy” on the Nanowrimo site. To all those participating this November, good luck! And may your Muse go with you.
*photo is from my planned schedule for Nanowrimo 2010.