November has become one of my favorite months of the year! Not because the temperatures start dropping, though that’s certainly a bonus. And not because I can light all the pumpkin spice/caramel apple/autumn scented candles, or drink all the mapley, pumpkiny-flavored coffees.
No, November is National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which brings together writers across the world with the common goal of putting our unique and wonderful words down on paper–or on a computer, as the case may be. And when I say it’s worldwide, I’m not exaggerating.
I participated in a group while living in Africa (online, because writers were spread over a larger region), and even met weekly with a group in Slovakia. You don’t have to write in the same genre or sub-genre, or even enjoy reading the same kinds of books. You don’t have to let anyone else read what you write either. It’s only to get in the habit of writing daily, and perhaps write that novel that’s been bouncing around in your head for far too long.
Now for the part that’s a little daunting…. but stick around, because I’m going to tell you why you shouldn’t get scared off. The goal for one month is 50,000 word, and yes, that’s 1,667 words per day. “Are you crazy? I have a job! Kids! A husband! Football games! Books to read!” Yup, and you may have to rearrange your schedule a little… just for this month. Some get up a little earlier, some write during lunch breaks, some after the kids go to bed. Any amount of writing is fantastic, and, think about it, it’s more than you’d have done otherwise.
And want to know a little secret? I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo for over five years and never officially “won.” Yet every year, I feel like a winner. It helps get me back into a habit of daily writing (if I’ve fallen out of it), and gets me several steps closer to finishing a book. But it doesn’t have to be a full-length novel, destined for Amazon greatness. You can write short stories, novellas, and even fan fiction. Nano is all about writing and community.
If this sounds appealing to you, whether you’re a seasoned writer or haven’t written since high school English, have a look at the Nano site and find your region so you can hook up with others who will be writing. All events are virtual this year, so you don’t even have to go anywhere, it doesn’t cost a dime, and you can stay or go as you please.
If you decide to participate (or were already planning to), let me know in the comments. I’d love to cheer you on!