NaNoWriMo is a social activity and fiction writing process all rolled into one. It’s a month-long event that writers join online, committing to writing a novel (in the roughest of drafts) in exactly a month. The requirement is that you complete 50,000 words of new work (a novel of about 175 pages) in November. That’s a daily writing goal of 1,666 and two thirds words per day.
When I first began to hear about NaNoWriMo, I thought it was stupid and a little crazy. But the idea simmered somewhere in the back of my mind. Reminded that November is just a month away, and seeing a little online news about NaNoWriMo brought it back to mind this week. So I put the thought of doing it to a test. Would completing a novel during NaNoWriMo benefit me? Would the experience be worth having? Would it make me better at writing? I can’t say I know the answers, for sure, because I’ve not done it yet, but I moved from, “that’s stupid” to “I might just try it.”
Then, having committed to it being conceivable, I began to explore what I would write about. If I do it, it will interrupt about a year’s work on a novel that I am enjoying writing and intently working on, daily. I would surely have to set that aside for the month of November, because I can’t write for more than about an hour a day.
My current effort is a novel set in the past, and it’s intensely research-driven. I cannot commit to 50,000 words in a month it I need to do extensive research, though that is a part of my fiction writing I like a lot.
So a NaNoWriMo effort ought to be a story that I can tell without doing much or any research. I played with a number of ideas, and kept creating enticing, but research-demanding themes and story ideas. So I have those, I suppose for future projects. Finally, I began to build a collection of thoughts for a novel I could write, and would like to. I can conceive most of it already, and the ideas keep bubbling up. Perhaps with discipline, I can set to it on November 1, and get at least 50,000 words down by November 30. That’s including Thanksgiving (unless I double output on another day).
From here, October 1, I think I’ll do it. Check back in four weeks and I’ll post on whether I’ve started did or not.