It’s that time of year again, dear writers and aspiring writers. That time when we all rush over to NaNoWriMo.org and attempt to hash out a great idea in the form of the next Great American Novel of Awesomeness.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with National Novel Writing Month, November is officially (I think. I mean, this phenomenon has been going on for years. Almost as long as the internet has been around… minus a few years. God, that line always makes me feel old) the month to write a 50,000 novel and it has a home in a small little nook in the web, NaNoWriMo.org, where you can go, sign up, and for the entire month of November write a novel. It’s an excellent site that tracks your word count, has a wonderful community of lovely writers and aspiring writers you can totally connect with, and a slew of fabulous resources you can tap into for free.
Sounds like fun, huh? And I have to say, it totally is. I participated in NaNoWriMo a couple of times in the past years and succeeded twice in hashing out a decent story… one of which later disintegrated into a hot mess when I tried to edit it (sigh), but I still think it was an awesome and successful two months. I totally proved that I could write a story.
Now, while I’m sure the mere thought of hashing out 50,000 words that is suppose to be a coherent, well put together story may immediately activate your freak-out mode (my freak out mode totally went haywire when I first typed my first word and realized I had 49,999 more to go), the logic, and beauty, behind Nanowrimo should help you feel better. Given that you only have one month to hash out a story means that there will not be enough time for you to bog yourself down with details shmetails, grammar, or perfection in general, which, let’s face it, are all the things that hold us back from writing that super awesome story of awesomeness sitting in the back of our minds. Amirite, or amirite?
Not to mention, writing can be very healthy, both for the mind and for the soul. I say “can” and not “is” because sometime writers (myself included) can take writing to a whole different level that will change it’s beneficial components and make them toxic. We’ve developed methods and strategies that get our writing back to that happy place, some of which do involve wine… lots of it. My suggestion to you if you are not a hardened and experienced writer is not not think about anything or anyone, but your story. Don’t think about who might read it and whether or not they’re going to like it. Don’t think about whether or not it’s a story that worth publishing, or if you even want to publish it. And most certainly, don’t think about how hard it might be to get it publish if you do decide it’s worth publishing. For the entire month of November, none of that matters. And quite frankly, you shouldn’t care about any of that. Not while your constructing you amazing idea in story form. You should only care about your story and how it should be exactly how you want it to be.
If you keep this small piece of advice in mind, I can almost guarantee you that you succeed in this challenge. And you will have totally proved that, oh yeah, you can totally write a novel.
Of course, a little bit of advice on how to hash out 50,000 word in one month might be helpful. And I’m so happy to say that I have just the thing for you. Mr. Chuck Wendig, who I have talked about on several occasions before because he’s awesome, is an awesome blogger that consistently dishes out fantastic advice on writing. He recently dished out 25 fabulous little nuggets of advice that might help you get started and going on your writing journey. You can his post here. You can find all of his fabulous blog posts at TerribleMinds.com. I should mention that Mr. Wendig uses very colorful language that might be inappropriate for work or for children under 13. Just a FYI. He does have a great sense of humor, though. And does use colorful language in a very creative way.
So, recap: This challenge will get that great idea in your head on paper, writing is good for you soul, and beating the challenge will make you feel like a superhero. What’s there to lose? Absolutely nothing. Well, maybe a few hours a day… for thirty days. But it’s totally for a good cause. Please reread the first sentence of this paragraph.
So, have I succeeded in convincing you to hash out your next Great American Novel of Awesomeness? I hope so. If you do decide to write your awesome story, I wish you luck and success in the next 30 days. Don’t forget to sign up with NaNoWriMo.org to have access to free resources and connect other awesome aspiring and established authors.
Happy writing, my dears!