Oh, hey, you came! Thanks for that. Sorry that this week has been without an update. I was planning on one, and have it half-written, but I also got to planning something else.
You want to know what that something else is, do you? Well, it’s nothing less than National Novel Writing Month! What is this thing, some of you might ask?
National Novel Writing Month (or just NaNoWriMo [we’ll stick to NaNo for future reference], pronunciation contested) is, as you might expect, a month-long event where you venture to write 50,000 words in a single month, with the optimal average word count each day being 1,667. Now, that sounds like a lot, but in practice, it's actually more than realistic. Most people could clear that daily word count in about an hour, and that’s with me slashing the average words per minute to account for those “hmm” moments when you think about how to proceed. If you commit to writing for a full 90 minutes a day, you should have plenty of time to take those days off where you just don’t have a chance to sit down. Personally, I try to hit around 2,100 words/day, which gives me a full week of breathing space for weekends and holidays, though I’ve done more than twice that when on a hot streak.
I’m planning a little harder than usual this year. I’m using the word count goal to finish a re-write of the story I wrote last year, but I know that I’ll run out of story before I run out of words. That was actually the issue I had the first year I attempted the feat – that and rushing everything in the last week and a half or so of the month. It was a mess, but it also taught an important lesson about deadlines and rushed work – both tend to be less than enjoyable. I’m planning on padding out my word count with another re-write I put on hold to get through the current, shorter one, as well as blog posts. I’ll put a word counter on the blog to show the number of words I wrote each day, as well as the total number done for the month so far!
I encourage anyone, whether you think you’re up for writing a book or not, to participate to some degree. Even if you don’t get to the finish line a winner, you might find the story inside you which is just waiting to come out. I found one my first failed year, and came back better prepared to finish it the next. It doesn’t cost you a dime (though, as a non-profit, donations are always appreciated), and you could end up having the time of your life.
If you want, you can even sponsor me! A button on the right bar (and below this post) will remain open from now through November. All the funds you donate will go toward NaNo, and it makes me work harder to get the word count done. All good things!
Francis van Zandt writes about writing, fantasy, and fantasy writing. Updates come once a week or so, time and inspiration allowing.