NaNoWriMo, Oh My!

The 2008 NaNoWriMo contest begins November 1, and I’d love to give it a whirl this year.

If you don’t know anything about NaNoWriMo, visit their website at
nanowrimo.org. If you don’t want to mess with all that, I’ll outline
it here. Basically, November is National Novel Writing Month. By
midnight, Nov 30, you’re supposed to write 50,000 words (50,000 being
a difficult but doable goal) and submit your manuscript to win the
prize. The prize, of course, is to be a winner in the 2008 NaNoWriMo
contest! The kicker is that, to enter, you have to start from
scratch on a brand new story, as opposed to taking out an old one and
tacking on 50,000 words. You can begin with outlines and plot notes,
but starting with previously written prose is “punishable by
death.” (Their words, not mine.)

The basic idea is that by giving someone a goal and
a deadline, novels will get written. Check out the FAQ section on the
website to see if your favorite best-selling author has been a
NaNoWriMo winner in the past.

You don’t HAVE to sign up and submit your manuscript in order to
participate. It’s a great time to finally set up a daily writing
schedule. All the books on writing advise you to set aside a certain
amount of time each day to write or set a goal of so many words per
day. I’m horrible at writing daily. I sleep in, I home-school the
kids, I run errands… and then the day is shot and I haven’t
squeezed in any time for writing. Lately, I’ve been fortunate to open
my manuscript once a week, and I must admit that sometimes WEEKS pass before I do any writing. So I’m going to take the NaNoWriMo challenge, and see if I can’t get myself into a daily writing habit. If I hit the 50,000 word goal, that’ll just be an added bonus. For
what it’s worth.

-Sonja

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