November is NaNoWriMo--National Novel Writing Month. It's a month where aspiring--and even already successful--authors attempt to write a novel in a month. The goal is 50,000 words, at a rate of almost 1,700 words per day.
I've participated in NaNoWriMo only once, so far. Of course, I'd like to do it every year, but November is such a busy month! I don't have time.
That's what I said last year. And the year before. But I've realized that if you really love doing something, you should make time for it. So I'm going to attempt NaNoWriMo again. I probably won't write daily, but I'll try to make up the losses on the weekends. Because I only decided this today (November 1), I'm already behind. I have no plans for my story. I have no character names picked out. I don't even know if we have coffee in the house.
But NaNoWriMo isn't about the planning and scheduling--in fact, I think that takes away from the naturally spontaneous, often chaotic spirit of the month. Planning down to the final paragraph count can make your writing seem forced. While planning is definitely a good thing, I'm going to let November be about writing. Editing can wait until December, or even January.
Here's a position I'm less sure of: I don't even know that I'd say NaNoWriMo is about the novel you're writing. The experience of writing all these words, letting your ideas bleed onto the page, that's why such a fast-paced novel writing experience is so cool. Feel free to disagree--I do, sometimes--but even if the novel itself is the most important part, the experience has to be at least as important. Otherwise, NaNoWriMo wouldn't have made it past its first year.
I'm ending this post with a short list of novels written during NaNoWriMo that were later published (I got this list from the NaNoWriMo website, www.nanowrimo.org. I've condensed the list quite a bit, so go check out the full list. It's very cool to see what can come from one month). I hope this will inspire you (and me!) to write this month.
Side Effects May Vary--Julie Murphy
The Night Circus--Erin Morgenstern
Anna and the French Kiss--Stephanie Perkins
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell