NaNoWriMo is upon us once again, and I encourage everyone who wants to write a book or has written a book to try it. The concept is crazy: write 50,000 words in thirty days or less, which averages out to almost 2,000 words per day. Crazy, right? There are plenty of excuses not to: no time, no energy, writer’s block, it’s just plain crazy.
Here’s the thing: those excuses will always be there. There will always be something you deem more important, more necessary, less crazy, etc., if you let it. Your writing will never be a priority until you make it so. The concept of NaNoWriMo is exactly what comes from all the doubt, misgivings, and other priorities. Someone started the idea that a person could write a book length novel in a month if they just sat down to do it…and that person was right! Thousands of people, possibly more, each year participate and find out that you can, indeed, write 50,000 words in a month if you make it a priority.
The first year I heard about it, it was almost the middle of the month. Could I still do it? It would be seventeen days of pure torture if I tried it. I was going to college and working full time. When would I ever have the time to do it? It was the middle of the month. How could someone possibly do 50,000 words in 17 days? What the heck would I say?
For some stupid reason, I was determined to do it anyway. And I did. I started on the 13th of November, and every night after I got home from college, I would sit down in front of a blank page. It was teeth-grindingly frustrating at times. I think I pulled my hair out and had to make sure that I wore a ponytail for a few weeks, but in 15 days, on the 28th of November, I turned in 50,000 words and ended up with some really crazy stuff to use in my next novel.
There is no monetary prize for winning, no reward other than a sticker saying you did it. You could certainly cheat if you wanted to, it’s based on the honor system, but that’s not the point of the exercise. It proved to me that I could do it if I put my mind to it. It increased my confidence that if I stuck to it, I could get it done, and if I could do that, I could do anything.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and do it!