Ah, NationalNovelWritingMonth is upon us again.
If I sound smug it’s only because it was third time lucky for me. 2014 was the year I actually sat down and got to that 50,000 words. And it felt good. But it was a damn hard slog some days.
If you’re thinking about giving it a go this year, then here’s some things you might want to consider:
- Do you have a novel idea? and yes I mean that in every sense of the word. You can be a complete pantser, like me, and not worry about planning every single chapter. But you have to at least have some idea about what you’re going to write. Also, it kind of helps if it isn’t an idea that has been done to death.
- Do you have the time? Seriously. Consider this. The NaNoWriMo calculater reckons you need to write 1666 words a day to reach 50k by the end of November. And sure, some days you might treble the daily word count. But then you might have a long week at work, or a busy social schedule, or you might have to pop out to save the world, gosh dammit! Be realistic about how much time you’ll have to sit down at the ol’ laptop.
- What do you want to achieve? For me, this is simple. I want to write a book. A whole book, all done but for the shouting (and the endless editing…) But maybe you’d actually be better off blogging that many words for the month, or writing that thesis, or that award-winning script. You can also use the time to edit, edit, edit. It’s up to you, but make sure you know what you’re doing before you dive in, that way you won’t feel disappointed in yourself for missing the target.
NaNoWriMo is a lot of fun. I got a lot out of joining in with the community, especially the question boards. It can be a welcome and refreshing break to think about someone else’s creative dilemma for a few minutes. But you don’t have to be a social butterfly, you can do this all by yourself, in secret, if that’s what you want.
If you’re into that kind of thing, there are achievement badges to be earned. And don’t forget, you get a nifty little certificate at the end!
You don’t have to have written a novel before, and you don’t have to be a total newbie. You can come at this from any angle, at any level.
I felt such a strong sense of pride when I completed NaNoWriMo last year and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in to it again.
If you do decide to give it a go, please do feel free to add me on there. I’m rather predictably ‘behindonbooks‘. Let’s kick novel butt!