National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, is an international Organization that hosts several writing events a year, generally in April, July, and November. During each month-long time frame participants are challenged to focus on meeting a specific word count goal, generally 50,000 words, which is considered the base-line for a novel’s first draft. This boils down to right around 1,666 words a day. Sounds simple, right? To some it may be, but for most it is a challenge to dedicate that much time to writing in their already busy schedules.
So, why do all of these people participate in this challenging and sometimes frustrating event? To improve their writing, for starters. Practice makes perfect, and the more you write the easier it gets. Many people also use these events to try to push out the first draft of their novels. All of that considered, there are other wonderful reasons to participate in NaNoWriMo as well.
- To Challenge Yourself: This is a no-brainer. Taking on a goal that is going to take up 2+hours of your time every day is going to be a challenge, but it can benefit more than just your writing and word counts. It will take self-discipline and time management. For me that has meant making myself pack my lunch the night before, keeping up with my chores on a daily basis, and limiting the time I spend doing nothing. That may not seem like much for anyone else, but it has taken daily encouragement for me to be able to keep everything going.
- To Develop a Writing Habit: I know a lot of participants get frustrated when life happens and they’re unable to keep up with that 1,666 word goal each and every day, but I wish they wouldn’t. Even if they only write 500 words a day, they would still have 15,000 more words written than if they hadn’t. The most important aspect of the event is the DAILY writing. So even if you can’t dedicate 2+hours a day to writing, dedicate what time you do have. I promise it will not be time wasted.
- To Meet Other Writers: I’m in my 3rd round of NaNoWriMo this month, and this is the first time I’ve reached out to other Writers for encouragement and inspiration. It has been a wonderful experience thus far. I’ve reached out in my assigned “cabin” (a small community provided BY NaNoWriMo) as well as social media sites, and just knowing that there are other people out there writing and struggling alongside me has been a great motivator. So put yourself out there, this is the perfect opportunity to meet people who share your passions and interests.
- To Have Fun and Learn Something About Yourself: My goodness, please if you take nothing else away from this blog, take this advice: Have FUN with your writing! Whether you’re writing in an event like NaNoWriMo or just writing on your own, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Enjoy your writing time. Make it something that you look forward to every day. It’s your time, your passion or hobby, and it shouldn’t be something that adds even more stress in your life. Yes, I’d like to meet my word count every day in NaNoWriMo, but realistically I know there are going to be days that I don’t. Like today: It’s the 4th of July and I spent my afternoon with some of my closest friends playing silly games and enjoying myself. Is that bad? Absolutely not. Could I have been spending that time writing? Yeah, sure. But it’s all about balance. Take the opportunity to learn what’s important to you and enjoy yourself!
Can I count my blog posts towards my NaNoWriMo word count? I would, but that would be cheating. =D. If you’re participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this go around tell me how you’re doing!
I have tried, and failed, to participate in Nanowrimo several times. Only once did I complete my transcript on time, and to this day (3 years later) I have yet to look at it again.
Obviously, that’s not the point of Nanowrimo. I forced myself to chug out a nonsensical transcript just to say I had. That’s pretty much a Lose/Lose situation if you ask me.
The main reason I’ve failed in my past attempts (minus not having my priorities in order) is my lack of Prep work prior to starting the challenge.
This year WILL be different. I have 4 weeks to flush out my ideas before the big day.
Nanowrimo Prep Week #1: Characters
Nanowrimo Prep Week #2: Story/Plot
Nanowrimo Prep Week #3: Goals/Conflict
Nanowrimo Prep Week #4: Rough Outline; Scenes List
Over the next week I’m going to focus strictly on my Main Characters and most important Secondary Characters.
With each Character I need to flush out their: Personalities, Backgrounds,Goals; Likes/Dislikes; Relationships; and Roles.
I’ll create a general Character Profile for each, and by the end of the week I’ll be ready to put them into action.
What kind of Prep work are you doing for Camp Nanowrimo? Share your ideas with us!
An average of 1 post every 2 months is a good rate, right? Right. *mumbles self-deprecating profanities*
It’s all about priorities. I haven’t been posting, but I have been reading and writing, a lot. It has taken a lot of effort to rewire my priorities, but I’m getting there. I am a very habitual individual- something either needs to be a habit or it isn’t going to get done. Ever.
Next on my priority development list is Dream Eras.
Stay tuned for Book Reviews, Book Rants, Writing Prompts, and other Literature related topics.
Oh, and guys? Camp Nanowrimo is less than a month away. ARE YOU READY!?
Expected Word Count: 11,900
Actual Word Count: Approximately 8,000
So I didn’t get a lot of time to write tonight, but after reading what I’ve written so far I have a much better idea of where the story is heading, which is good news! Tomorrow I WILL sit down and write for my allotted time, if not more. One of the biggest parts of NaNoWriMo is developing a daily writing practice. I’ve been missing out on that so far.
Expected Word Count: 10, 512
Actual Word Count: *Sobs*
Expected Realization: “Hey, I CAN do this!”
Actual REalization: “Hey, idiot, you have four weeks left in your MS program and have a TON of stuff you have to get done in time to actually get your degree. You thought you’d have time to sit down every single day and write 1700+ words? HAHAHAHA You poor, pitiful thing. Maybe next time.”
Oh, the frustration! I’m battling both with time and with story combining issues! As I’m writing one I keep thinking about my characters in two others, and then I focus on them instead of what I need to be focused on…and blargh blargh blargh blarghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Yes, blargh is now a word.
My game plan is to try and knock out as much school related stuff as I can in the next week while still writing for a least some period of time each evening. I have my reminder set to write at 9 PM each night.
On a side note, and as a completely true excuse, I’m also behind because I was offered to teach my very first yoga class yesterday (for today) and spent most of my afternoon and evening yesterday and morning today practicing for it! I was terrified. Nervous. Anxious. And I ended up loving it, and the students said they loved it as well. Which is really the main point of teaching yoga. It isn’t about you, it’s about your students.
Happy Writing everyone, I hope life isn’t getting in your way as much as it is getting in mine!
Goal word count: 7000
Actual Word Count: <7000
As can be seen I don’t have a good word count at the moment- my writing the last two days has been limited to jotting down notes and ideas in a notebook as I worked. The bad news? I’m at least a day behind. The good news? Yesterday was my LAST day at work. This means I’ll have 4x more time for doing the things I love, like writing, reading, and exercising. Big smiles!
One thing that I did notice as I was trying to figure out what to do with these characters, and who these characters even are, is that I was extremely lacking in motivation when it came to the START of their story. Instead, I’ve compiled several scenes that I will be working on, and hopefully those scenes will lead to more scenes, and those scenes will lead to both the start and finish of the story.
What are you finding difficult so far? With so many different stories knocking around in my head I have to work hard to keep my characters separate. Linnie is a secretive, arms length kind of girl. Rhett (I just love his name) is an open book kind of guy that values honesty above all else. He’s also pretty dang hot. ;]
I hope you’re all enjoying your writing experience! I’m coming up with a lot of blog series ideas through this struggle!
I was able to dedicate time to writing yesterday, and I’m almost caught up! In the past I’ve always tried to write in sequential order, but I’m just letting myself write whatever scene pops into my head this go round. It worked for day two, we’ll just have to see how it works the rest of the time. As promised, here’s a photo of Ossin. Beautiful, right?
Word Count is at 3142.
I hope I’m much more motivated today. Yesterday was like pulling nails to get myself to relax and settle down to write.
May the tears of frustration quickly come and go as I admit that too many things piled up on me yesterday to hit my word count. I’m right around 900 at the moment, but my saving grace is the planning I was able to do while “working”. Tonight, after the mandatory homework(5 more weeks to the Masters degree guys) I plan to relax with a glass of wine,notepad,and cat and write until I’m literally nodding off. I don’t believe I’ve shared a photo of my number one supporter (Ossin,a four year old rag doll cat). Pictures to come with Day 2’s post!
Also, I indulged this weekend and read 6 more new adult novels. All these reviews will start rolling out soon! For some,admittedly, I must wait for my love affair with the characters to die down a bit before I can really review the book.
How do you prepare for NaNoWriMo? I know some writers wait until NaNo starts to really start planning, but this normally puts them a day or two behind on the word count from the get go! Other people prepare weeks in advance. I generally pick a story I’ve been kicking around in my head a while to use for Nano. The one I’m planning to start on Tuesday has been in the creative loop of my mind for a while now. Nothing serious, and I haven’t written anything down, but I have a general idea of what it’s about, what it’s meant to communicate, and who the main characters are. I plan to write some of this down and begin Tuesday with a premise and general plot statement. I can’t wait! How do you prepare?
I absolutely love NaNoWriMo. I do. I participated in my first NaNoWriMo a year ago and fell in love with the habit (and excuse) to write daily. At the end I had a 52,000 word manuscript, that is to this day still sitting in a binder in my desk. NaNoWriMo got me to let my creative juices flow and get a story out, but I didn’t take my manuscript anywhere after the first draft.
This year, in attempts to stay aware of this issue, I’m proposing that NaNoWriMo participants keep two files of their manuscript this time around- one compiled as it is meant to be, and one divided into daily writing segments. Once NaNoWriMo is completed I will be taking a short break (I’ll give myself 2 weeks) to review my manuscript and notes, and then I will be spending the next month going back and editing each of the 30+ files I have saved for each individual day. It will be my own personal Novel Editing Month, and I invite everyone to join me! Don’t let those manuscripts you poured so much time and effort in go to waste!