Monday, 30 September 2013

NaNoWriMo

What another post? So soon?

It occurs to me that it is October tomorrow. That means we only have 85 days until Christmas. But aside from the fact that This Time Next Year would make a great stocking filler for any woman you know of a certain age i.e. any age but probably over 40ish, it also means that NaNoWriMo is approaching fast.

I've been aware of NaNoWriMo for several years and for ages, in spite of the fact that I knew what it was about, thought the No in it stood for November. Well, it could, couldn't it? But it actually stands for National Novel Writing Month as you will probably know if you're a writer reading this. Unless you're like me. 

Last year I participated in it for the first time and it was brilliant! And hard work.

The pluses:
If you stick with it and write fairly religiously you can come up with 50,000 words in one month and that's about half or more of an average novel;
um, I'm sure there must be some more pluses ...

Okay let's look at the negatives while I'm thinking:
it's the month before December i.e. when Christmas preparations are beginning in earnest (even if it's only shopping for a new party dress), and it's not a good time to be putting aside minutes/hours a day to be creative;
it can feel like writing to demand and that doesn't suit everyone (although as Dan Poynter said, If you wait for inspiration to write you're not a writer you're a waiter);
it's the month of my birthday and grand-daughter's birthday, which necessarily take large chunks of weekend to celebrate (that may not be relevant to you of course but I include it to take account of the fact that you will all have lives going on that may include significant events - and, because as Husband points out, I do like to tell people it's my birthday).

Back with the pluses, it's an incentive. Do you ever lack that? I know I do. Procrastination is one of my best friends, along with fear of failure and, inevitably, laziness. Having said that, when I commit to something I like to see it through, diets excepted of course. When I was sixteen I gave up sugar in my tea for Lent and I've never taken it since. So signing up for the program is the incentive I need to write regularly. To write to demand in fact. But if I want to be or to call myself a writer then writing to demand is what I should be doing.

And I make the time by not playing solitaire on the computer, not checking my Facebook page very 5 minutes, not hoovering (oops, didn't mean to mention that), not doing any one of the numerous time-wasting activities in which I normally indulge. And, yes, it can sometimes feel like a hardship but it's only for 30 days and at the end you get a huge chunk of novel. Must be worth doing.





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