November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. Starting tomorrow, I put up my “Do Not Disturb” sign and for thirty days and nights retire to an undisclosed location with my nose to the grindstone (and my fingers to the keyboard) as I tap tap tap away 50,000 words worth of character development, plots, subplots, twists and turns that should coalesce into a novel.
NaNoWriMo is an annual event that gathers participants from around the world to write their first (or second, or third) novel in one month. It aims to help would-be novelists stop procrastinating, break through writer’s block, and come out the other side with a complete work. The idea is that writers work alone but have a shared community of resources, forums, and eventually readers to tap into.
The NaNoWriMo community is quite bustling, and according to the website last year it had 165,000 participants more than 30,000 of who crossed the 50K finish line. This is not a typical competition in that there are no winners or prizes, but rather a competition against oneself and a ticking clock.
Granted, the approach is one of quantity over quality, but for a painfully self-critical perfectionist like myself, that might be just what is needed. Ideas for a novel have been percolating inside me for quite a while, and now it’s time to get them all out. At my keyboard, get set, write!