Nanowrimo Begins in November

Nanowrimo: a crazy event for crazy people.

Poor egg, his head exploded

Writers, are you ready? Nanowrimo begins soon.

If  you don’t know, Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) is a free, unpretentious marathon writing session  The goal is to write 50,000 words of a novel in–you guessed it–one month.

Participants spend a couple hours every day working on something that will most likely remain on their hard drive. A majority of people who join this event drop out by December 1st. Many report they quit because their head exploded.

Those who continue don’t care that they’re not producing great art. They’re happy to be at least producing something…and lots of it. Improved writing habits are a side benefit.

I suspect that, for those who finish, pre-writing is key. Gallons of coffee and the work habits of a demented grad student also help.

Here the Nanowrimo people tell FAQ-readers why they should participate:

The reasons [to participate] are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

Besides helping people write better, Nanowrimo brings together a great community. People on the forums are usually willing to provide input on ways to bring realism to your novel. For example, on the Reference Desk,  forum participants give input on topics like ‘bizarre roadside attractions,’ ‘home cooked dishes from around the world,’ and ‘stabbing someone from behind.’

Though I’m sitting out this year, I’ve done and won Nanowrimo the past two Novembers. The results weren’t pretty, but both years I learned priceless lessons. I’m not saying Nanowrimo made me a great writer (long way to go there), but it definitely made me a better writer.

Nanowrimo is a crazy event, but don’t underestimate it: Nanowrimo is damned hard work!

I wrote about Nanowrimo last year. To read more, check out Temporary Insanity: 10 Lessons Learned from Nanowrimo.

Over to You:

  • Have you ever participated in Nanowrimo? Do you want to talk about it? (Nanowrimo can be rough)
  • Ever done something for 30 days just for the sake of improving? If you finished, how awesome were your results?

Photo credit: Nina Matthews Photography

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • JA Lineberry October 20, 2010, 10:51 pm

    I really wish they would do this in the summer. I’m kind of swamped with grad school right now. I could use something like this to resuscitate my writing.

  • Seth M. Baker October 21, 2010, 12:43 am

    Nanowrimo definitely isn’t grad-student friendly.

  • whimsicism October 22, 2010, 12:19 pm

    I did the thing last year. Remember settling on my friend’s bed with her, both of us armed to the teeth with laptops and headphones, cranking out 4,000 words (AT LEAST) each that day after completing a quick school project…

    Too bad I probably can’t do it this year, GCE ‘O’ Levels last till mid-November… (might go crazy and do it anyway…)

    Good luck to all who attempt it! And don’t do as I did last year and complete the thing like 10minutes before midnight on 30th Nov;)

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