27/10/13 - NaNoWriMo 2013

Every year, when November rolls around, my social media feeds become full to the brim with eager writers all gearing up for the month ahead.  Ten days in, they are bemoaning their lack of sleep and the horrible quality of the work they're doing.  By December 1st, some will be elated, some will be a little disappointed and all with be in need of a weekend's hibernation and a big pot of tea.  This is what NaNoWriMo does to people.  The past few years, I've sat at my laptop and watched the carnage November can wreak.  This year, I'm throwing myself into the fray headfirst.

For those who don't know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it is a challenge for anyone who ever thought they might have the capabilities to write a book and for those who have started and never finished hundreds of manuscripts (I am very guilty of the second one).  The aim is to write 50,000 words in a month.  Yes, it's a lot.  But the idea is to get you to actually finish the story you've had three paragraphs of sitting in a Word document for the past year.  It's a struggle and a slog.  It'll make you doubt all your faculties as a writer.  You'll live on caffeine and adrenaline for the whole month.  But by the start of December when you have an, albeit fairly rough, first draft finished...it'll all be worth it.  Even if you don't hit your target, you'll have written a damn sight more than you would have done otherwise.

Obviously this won't be for everyone.  Although I know people do manage to complete NaNo whilst in full-time education, I've been putting off for years on the excuse that I'm just too busy.  Since I made the decision to try this year, my November's filling up pretty quickly but I'm going to give it a good shot.  The best thing about this challenge is that it's just that; a challenge.  Not a deadline, not an assignment with a set word-count.  You can change your target, you change the length of time you give yourself to reach it, and even then no one's judging if you fall short.  If you're someone like me, who has always dreamed of being a 'proper writer', this is a great first step on that journey.  People are always saying that they would write a novel if they only had the time.  But like anything worth doing, you have to make the time to write.  So this year, I'm going to make the time...and I'm excited!

If you think NaNoWriMo is something you'd be interested in, don't let anything stop you!  Whip out your notepads, laptops and typewriters and - like Nike say - just do it.  Even if you only get 10,000 words written or 1,000 or just 10, at least you gave it a go.

I wish this was actually my writing tool of choice.
So that's my plan for November but don't worry, I will still be blogging as much as possible - yes, I am certifiably insane and getting ready to run myself into the ground.

Have you done NaNo before?  Will you be trying it this year?  Let me know in the comments, and we can keep each other motivated!