With November being only three days away, I figured it was worthwhile to comment on that infamous monthly writing adventure, NaNoWriMo. For those of you who are not writers (or have been far removed from the social media world), NaNoWriMo stands for “National Novel Writing Month.” The goal is to complete a 50,000-word novel within the month of November. That averages out to 1667 words per day, which is about a good average for most writers on a day where they are setting themselves to the task. However, maintaining that over the course of 30 full days is, indeed, a challenge. And this does not mean simply writing “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” five thousand times.

As best as I can tell from my records (which includes a PDF of a “winner’s certificate”), I first attempted back in 2007. It was at a point where I was working on some poetry, considering some screenplays, but hadn’t yet gotten involved in full-fledged fiction writing. This event was the kickoff.

I continued for five years and “completed” five novels. I also learned enough at the time to work on other fiction projects. When my first book “Swan Song” (now out of print) was published in 2012, the ball was rolling in terms of writing book length fiction and I stopped participating in the event.

The nature of the event is to encourage writes to produce a novel, or at least a first draft. Maybe what you complete in those 30 days is pure drivel and you decide to scrap it. Or, just maybe, there is something worthwhile about, a crumb of interest to you that makes you want to revise and edit and, possibly, bring it to print. I found these examples of NaNoWriMo entrants who went on to publish their works:

While my plate is full and I no longer need the jumpstart, I recognize how this one online event spurred me onto different writing adventures and new paths I hadn’t previously considered. My hope is that other writers use this tool, as well as other resources, to continue their literary considerations. The world needs many stories and variant voices.

Good luck this November.


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