You’re going to start seeing a lot of posts about something called ‘nanowrimo’ very shortly on my blog.
Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and happens for the duration of November, every year. It is an event that encourages anyone and everyone to dedicate the month of November to writing a full novel (at least 50 000 words) in a month. Nano places a value on “enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline” and helps thousands of people ‘win’ the challenge every year.
I’m sure that a lot of people have always wanted to write a novel. Which, to a lot of people, seems like an incredibly daunting task.
Now, Nanowrimo is not about writing the perfect, publishable novel in 30 days. It’s simply about writing the novel - your first draft. Afterwards, you’re given a lot of support and resources to editing and completing your novel, but for November, it is simply about WRITING YOUR HEART OUT.
The community is incredible - every few days there are pep-talks from famous authors such as Neil Gaiman, Rainbow Rowell, Tamora Pierce, the list goes on! So many people cite Nanowrimo as a huge inspiration to them, including published authors themselves. In fact, Rainbow Rowell’s book Fangirl was based off of a novel she wrote for Nanowrimo.
For me, I learned about National Novel Writing Month after probably the hardest summer of my life. Diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, and having to move back home from University, I was a mess of depression, confusion and self-depreciation. There wasn't anything positive in my life, no victories had been won for quite a while, but when I learned about the premise of Nanowrimo, I decided that was something I could do, and I would WIN nanowrimo.
I had no real clue what the heck I was writing, but it involved an epic, crazy cast of around 16 main characters (whaaaaa…) based off of tarot cards. You can still see the mood boards I made for them on my pinterest, if you want (I’m totally not proud of them…nope. Not at all…) And I wrote. I wrote and wrote. When I got bored of writing about one character I would write about another, and these sixteen confused, strange characters propelled me through a month of feeling completely connected to my creativity. A month of developing a writing practice and habit, and discipline.
A month of crazy, caffeine fuelled craziness. There were days where I couldn’t write. Where I cried. Where everything I tried couldn’t produce more than 50 words. There were also days where I wrote almost 8,000 words in one day. Those days…THOSE DAYS WERE AH-MAZING. I don’t think I have ever felt so creatively-high than those days. I felt like a CHAMPION. I felt INSANE…LY GREAT.
And on November 30th, at around 8pm, I entered my final word count in the website (they have the sweetest word counter for you - honestly half the reason I do nanowrimo now is because of that killer counter. You’ll understand when you sign up. It’s great). I entered the word count, and I won my first nanowrimo.
It was the first victory under my belt. And it was proof that I was capable of dedicating myself and my creativity in to something bigger, something tangible, something awesome. I had completed and done something that so many people never do. And, I had a fully-fledged (albeit rambling, gramatically incorrect and confused) novel! I had written a novel!!
So this year is going to be my third time participating in Nanowrimo. I’ve already announced my novel (it even has a cover this year!!) and I’m really, really excited. This year’s going to be the best one yet! And I want YOU to join me. If you’ve never heard of nanowrimo, sign up and give it a try. If you’re on the fence about it, sign up and give it a try!! Let’s be friends, and let’s write and encourage each other!
I’ve got some really cool, helpful posts lined up this year for it, to! So stay tuned, and let’s get this Nanowrimo party started!!