November is National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. I am participating for the first time this year. Last year I did the 3-Day Novel Contest, which was incredibly challenging, and this time I am going for a bit of a longer commitment. For anyone who is unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it is an annual challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in a mere 30 days. It's coordinated by a non-profit organization, and you can check out their website here. It's not a contest so you don't win anything if you complete your project, but it is a wonderful way to kick-start the novel that's been sitting in your head gathering dust for years. So why am I putting myself through 30 grueling days of writing, writing, writing? Here's why:
1. I've been plotting a novel for quite some time now. About ten years, in fact. I've been afraid to put words to the page because I'm not sure if I can do it justice, but gosh darn it, I'm going to try, and NaNo is going to help me start!
2. The buddies feature on the NaNoWriMo website allows me to watch the progress of friends also participating in this adventure. This also means that they are watching me and rooting for me, so I feel accountable. (And when someone else is at 15,000 words when I am only at 6,000, I am encouraged to work harder!)
3. As the goal is to get out 50,000 words in a month, I can write without the restraints of going back and editing all the time. The point is to get the first draft out, no matter how rough it may be.
4. Every time I work on a writing project, I get better at writing ("well, duh," you say!).
So there's my list. Right now, I am having a lot of fun taking the time to write every day, exploring the vast science fiction world of my imagination. Of course, my tune may change by the end of the month. We'll see. Now, back to my novel...