No, it isn't Mork crank calling from his home world, Ork. It's National Novel Writing Month and it starts November 1st.
NaNoWriMo began in 1999 with 21 aspiring novelists in the SF Bay area with a mission. Okay, so part of the mission might've included expanding their dating opportunities, but the point is that they stumbled upon something that has struck a cord with writers world-wide: "a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing."
So, what is NaNoWriMo exactly?
Well, it's a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
The organizers of this event state that NaNoWriMo values "enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft...[and is] for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved. Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly. Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down."
In 2009, NaNoWriMo had 167,150 participants and 32,178 winners. And, the number of words officially logged was 2,427,190,537. Holy guacamole, Batman! There was a whole lotta of typin' goin' on.
Now, I know that there are skeptics. But the purpose of NaNoWriMo isn't to produce a polished manuscript worthy of the NYT bestsellers list. It's simply to motivate you to get done with your first draft. You can't get published if you can't finish the story.
For me, I need this challenge. The past year has been a frustrating turn of spinning my writing wheels in the mud. I'm looking forward to the pressure of a time crutch and the competition to finish the race. My goal is simply to have a completed manuscript by November 30th. I'm dedicated to putting the words on the electronic paper and hold the editing until "The End." I'll try to abate my OCD with Hemingway's inspirational words. "The first draft of anything is sh**!"
If writing a novel in 30 days sounds like a challenge you're willing to undertake, visit NaNoWriMo to sign up. Then, come back here and click on the icon below to "Buddy Me."
If you're already registered for NaNoWriMo, you can "Buddy Me" too. The more the merrier!
Happy Tales, yall!
*Reposted from the New Kids on the Writer's Block blogunity article dated 10/21/2010.