Friday, 29 August 2014

To NaNoWriMo or No?

 November is fast approaching and many budding authors out there, myself included, are flexing our fingers and firing up our imaginations in preparation for one full month of pounding the keyboard. For those who participate in NaNoWriMo, it means four weeks of little sleep, lots of caffeine and much compulsive word counting. 50,000 words is a lot to write in such a short time and I’m more than a little daunted by this figure, but like a true masochist I’m up for the challenge!

To put my courage and optimism in perspective I’ve never actually participated in NaNoWriMo before. If all goes to plan I’m also going to be settling into a new job and house around this time, but as I said, I’m up for the challenge! Making the decision a couple of months in advance helps because it allows time for plotting/character profiles etc, so that when November arrives you can just jump straight into writing. I've had some ideas swirling around in my head for a while now and I’m really interested to see where they take me.

There are a few reasons I’ve decided to give NaNoWriMo a whirl.

1.       Life has gotten in the way lately and I need to get back into the habit of writing regularly. What better way than to throw myself into the raging river headfirst? From what I’ve heard from past participants this seems to be one of the major benefits of NaNoWriMo.

2.      I have no illusions about churning out a literary masterpiece in 30 days, but a month of solid writing has to produce something resembling a first draft. I’m aiming for a basic outline I can work with and even if most of it ends up being thrown in the garbage, it will be a start.

3.      It’s a good way of “burning off the leaves.” I think it was Natalie Goldberg who said this. Her view is that before we get to the truly great stuff, there’s a lot of crap in the unconscious that has to be swept away and the only way to do this is to write it out.
4.      Writing is fun so therefore lots of writing has to be lots of fun. That’s the theory anyway. We’ll see how it goes.
I challenge you to join me in NaNoWriMo 2014! What have you got to lose, except a bit of sleep and possibly your sanity?
 A former NaNoWriMo participant