Have you heard about NanoWrimo?
If not, here it is in a nutshell: every November, hopeful writers set out to create a novel or another body of written work (poetry, scriptwriting, etc) in 30 days. The goal is to reach 50K words and become a nutcase a.k.a. “Winner!”
Joking aside, the goal is to give that elusive bucket list item a shot with a community of like-minded individuals.
Nanowrimo has also expanded into two other months of the year for smaller crowds that get to set their own goals in word count. You could call it NanoWrimo light, but it’s not. Just looking at the word count goals my “cabin mates” have set for themselves (yes, you are assigned a virtual cabin of writers), I quickly realized it’s no such thing. Most are aiming for over 50K words in the month of July.
You may be wondering what in the hell I smoked to make me sign up to such an over-achieving project and I could be nonchalant and shrug, but I do have some reasons for taking this on, so here they are:
1- I wanted to participate in Nano, but didn’t have the time before.
Writing takes discipline and time. It’s not one of those things you can do well in-between tasks. It requires your full attention and I just never felt I could dedicate enough time to it to do it right.
2- I work well under pressure and deadlines.
I am one of those people that can procastinate forever, but when a deadline is set, I get to work. So having a set amount of time to write means I will most likely get it done.
3- I already did it unintentionally.
A couple of years ago, before I knew about NanoWrimo, in the midst of a life crisis of sorts, I wrote a fantasy YA novel in 3 weeks after my day job. In total I wrote over 100K words with no notes, an outline or well thought out plots or characters. I just wrote and wrote until I got to the end. Reading it over, much of it was crap with some moments of brilliance, but the process was so enjoyable that I thought I should give it another try.
This time, I did some research, read about tools I could use, worked on plot and character development and even built a loose outline of my chapters.
I am not sure if it will be better or worse, but I figured, why not re-write that novel and maybe move on to book two, three and four?
4- 10,000 hrs
Malcolm Gladwell wrote about opportunity and practice and that it takes 10,000 for someone to become an expert at something. Well, I am not going to be J.K. Rowling, but I hope that some of the discipline required to write everyday to achieve the 50K words in a month will translate to more frequent posts and better writing for this blog.
5- My muse is flirting with me and well, he’s smoking hot!
Ever have that feeling you just need to do something? A million ideas pulsate through your brain and you become obsessed with a concept? Those moments are golden and over the years, I have passed up on them for lack of time and because they came in very inopportune times, usually in the middle of the night. So, now, my muse is back, I can stay awake and write into the night and I intend to pursue, better yet, hold my muse captive for the month of July. Hehehe!
6- Why not?
Even if I write another crappy novel, I will be ticking off another dream. Not for money, fame or to publish it, but to craft a story out of my imagination and put it on paper. So why not?
7- That one time at band camp…
That famous line. Incredible things happen when you put yourself in uncomfortable situations. So here is to creating those stories!
Let’s go to Camp!
Here is a link to NanoWrimo if you are interested.