Monday, November 1, 2010

Let the NaNoWriMo Games Begin...

November is National Novel Writing Month, so what does that mean, exactly?

On November 1, thousands (last year it was 161,870!) people will withdraw from active participation in the "normal" world, sequester themselves in bedrooms, dens, coffee shops, or other venues, and attempt the nerve-wracking challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. Some will drop out for various reasons: illness, family emergencies, the threat of failing out of school, or the overwhelming desire to make sure the rest of the world is still out there. But others will push through exhaustion, loneliness, pressure, and the prospect of losing the continuity of their favorite TV programs (or watching the TiVo'd episodes instead of Christmas programs in December), to reach the pinnacle of word-count mania for the grand prize of having their progress bar turn purple and the thrill of placing a NaNoWriMo "Winner" badge on their webpage or blog. Oh, they may emerge briefly to partake of the turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but will not truly re-enter society until December 1, when they will reintroduce themselves to their friends, family, and pets, clear out overstuffed in-boxes, and spend the next week or so catching up on Facebook and Twitter.

Last year, I did a daily blog post during NaNo. I'll be posting again this year, but am not sure I'll try to do it on a daily basis. I began this year's NaNo adventure at 12:04 a.m., and exceeded the word count for Day 1. However, for the first time in four years, I'm not sure whether to keep it or scrap it and try again. Either way, the creative juices are flowing, and it is helping me to balance the anxiety of waiting to hear if my son and daughter-in-law made it safely to their Mexican destination.

For those who are new to NaNoWriMo, you might want to read last year's posts in my archives for the history of NaNoWriMo, suggestions for preparing yourself for this crazy writing adventure, tips on the writing process, and more. And don't forget to peruse the various forums on the NaNo site and hook up with some writing buddies for mutual support and inspiration. Until next time...

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