Every time November comes around I get people asking me why I talk so much about that NaNo-thing. Do I win money if I "win"? Do I publish? Is it a class? Is it a holiday? (Those last ones especially from my aunts.) Today I share with you NaNoWriMo, one of the best and most supporting communities I've been able to find online in years.
I started my first NaNoWriMo during 2011 thanks to my boyfriend, who found about it on twitter. He thought I might like it, he didn't thought I might love it and become obsessed thinking about the next one every year the same way you expect your birthday or Christmas.
WHAT IS NANOWRIMO?
NaNoWriMo is a yearly event where people around the world face the dreadful challenge (by choice) of writing 50,000 words in a month. Which can be either easy (if you are a student with full afternoons for yourself), or extra challenging (if you are a parent of 2 working a full time plus taking care of the house). Over 300,000 participants around the world join in the madness of getting lost in Imagination Land for a whole month. I won both my 2 NaNo's in 2011 and 2012, 2013 I took a break due to my new job (full focus on training). This year I try once again, rewriting from scratch my 2011 novel.
Why would anyone do this?
Many reasons, but mainly because we love words, stories and a good challenge. The fun and most of all, the community. What makes NaNoWriMo different from challenging yourself in any month is the community. We support and cheer each other, compete and challenge each other, advice and ask advice. Yes a lot of people benefit monetary with it (*cough* scrivener.), a lot of webinars are given and all but in the end we don't really care as long as we enjoy the month. There are write-ins where people gather to “attempt” to write while chatting about their ideas and drinking a countless amount of caffeinated beverages.
How does NaNoWriMo work for me?
I always had stories in my head, I would fall asleep to them much like you would fall asleep to your mother reading you a story. Except mine couldn't so I made up my own. At some point I wanted to put them on paper but lacked the motivation. 300K+ people writing at the same time is a great motivation. I start by setting up a plan in October, consisting on multiple paragraphs about how the story might go, an outline and lots of visual inspiration. Then on November the 1st I usually end up with about 3,000 words (the goal is 1667). Hopefully I can manage 50,000 words by the end of the month, if not more. The trick is not to fall behind. better write 5,000 words on a day you are inspired and with time in your hands, than to hit those mere 1,667 and stop and one day fall ill barely being able to write 500.
This year will be a bit more challenging as some days will be dedicated to preparing our new house to move in by December. Which means on the days I can I need to hit at about 5,000 words. I already prepared my FocusWriter to inspire me, with small notes on names which I always forget. (I’m terrible at names even with people I know long, they just vanish from my head.) So yea. Even though I have Civilization BE, that can wait, it will always be there. NaNoWriMo will only be here once a year.