If you are part of the writing world, you'll soon be hearing a strange word.
It stands for National Novel Writing Month, and itt takes place each November. Participants in this free event challenge themselves to write 50,000 words during the month of November.
While it sounds like a lofty goal, many well-known writers begin their novels during Nanowrimo. Like Sara Gruen, whose New York Times bestseller Water for Elephants was begun as a Nanowimo project. And there are many more Nanowrimo success stories.
One of the motivating factors of Nanowrimo is setting up a profile on the site, where you update your word count as your manuscript grows. Like Facebook, you can "friend" other writers, see what they're working on, and chat about any topic from character creation to writer's block.
This post is purposely scheduled five weeks before Nanowrimo begins, so that you can think about the possiblity of participating. It gives you time to clear your schedule, and plan for what you'd like to be working on.
* You have a whole month, where you've got an excuse to say “I have to go write.”
* You have a great reason to say “no” to things you’d rather not do.
* You’re forced to turn off your inner editor, in order to meet your word-count goals. This may be just the thing you need to move forward in your story, instead of re-editing the same first five pages.
* You are part of an international group of writers who are all sweating over their keyboards at the same time.
* If you finish 50K, you receive a handsome winner’s certificate.
* Even if you don’t "finish" (and 80% of participants do not), you’ll still have more writing accomplished than you would have otherwise.
Don’t write fiction? Don’t let that stop you. There’s a “Nano Rebel” group on the Nanowrimo forums just for those who write non-fiction, or poetry, or engage in song-writing. And don't stress that the rules say you must start on a new writing project. Many "rebels" (myself included) use the month to finish a work in progress, or revise a novel already written.
So, get your brain thinking about which project or story idea is worthy of this year's Nanowrimo. Is anyone with me?