National Novel Writing Month – more commonly known as NaNoWriMo, is the challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Starting on the 1st of November, and finishing midnight on the 30th November, participants have 30 days to crank out a 50,000 word novel. Sounds insane? Well it probably is. But it is also heaps of fun and teaches you so much about yourself in the process. I have participated in, and won, Nanowrimo four years in a row. But last year I blitzed it! I did so well in week one, that my partner challenged me to double the word count – 100,000 words in a month. I took on his challenge and won! I won’t write about that here – but if you want to read about how I acheived such a massive word count – you can visit my good friend LaVerne’s blog and read all about it there! (Thanks LaVerne for having me on your blog!!) 😀
But back to Nano. Every year in November thousands of people from all over the world converge onto the virtual space that is the Nanowrimo website (www.nanowrimo.org) where they can update word counts, chat with people from their own region or the opposite side of the world, delve into the forums to learn more about the art of writing or simply procrastinate. The online store sells plenty of Nanowrimo merchandise – from t-shirts to hoodies, mugs, pencils, notepads, to a Camp Nanowrimo Care Package and even a book, written specifically for Nanowrimo by the Program’s Founder Chris Baty. ‘No Plot, No Problem’ is a great introduction to writing a novel in 30 days, and even if you don’t want to take up that challenge, it still has some great tips. Better still, if you buy it from the site it’s autographed!! (I have finally put my order for this book in today. I borrowed from the library several years ago and found it really useful, but have just never got around to getting a copy for myself.)
The same people also run Script Frenzy in April each year, and also have a Young Writer’s Program which runs alongside both of these events (Script Frenzy and Nanowrimo), for young people who want to take part but cannot reach the targets set for adults.
Nanowrimo is such a great event, which has given me the opportunity to practice writing 4 novels. One of these will definitely not see the light of day, one is currently going through the editing process, and the other two? Well, I guess we’ll wait and see! 🙂