November is a special month for me this year, because it is the first November since I learned about National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short) and haven’t been either working retail, taking classes, or both.
That means this year, I’m tackling the challenge of trying to write 50,000 words in a month.
I’m not doing a novel, per se, but writing stuff as long as a novel that isn’t actually a novel is a time-honored NaNoWriMo tradition. As a result of this intense focus on the monthly writing project, this blog post will be shorter than usual but the next one should make up for it. It’s not my NaNoWriMo project, but it’s been in the works for a while and I want to do it right before publishing it.
If this whole thing sounds cool to you and you want to give it a shot, too, the website for NaNoWriMo is here. There really aren’t a lot of hard-and-fast rules; people write in different ways and into different resources. My project is a collection of Google Docs, but some people use a traditional word processor or a tool like Scrivener.
I would strongly recommend that if you start on this that you make sure it’s backed up, though! I can think of few things that would be as disheartening as losing a manuscript with a five-digit word count partway through the month due to computer problems.
The other thing I’d suggest is that if this sounds like something you’d like to try: DO IT. Writing, like any skill, improves with practice. You may not make a masterpiece the first time, but being able to say you’ve written 50,000 words in a single month is a pretty noteworthy accomplisment all on its own.