November 1 means the start of something where I look forward to and look up to at the same time: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). What you’re supposed to do if you participate? Write 50.000 words in one month!
Why 50.000 words, you may ask. If you have written about 50.000 words, you could have finished a novel. You might need more words if you’re going to write an epic fantasy, but 50.000 is a great start. For example, The Great Gatsby is around 50.000 words. NaNoWriMo is from November 1 till November 30, which means you have to write at least 1667 words a day. And yeah, that’s a lot.
NaNoWriMo has an official website which you can check out HERE. You don’t write on the website itself, you use your own word processor or write by hand (you’ll have a very strong hand at the end of the month if you do that, haha). So you don’t have to worry about plagiarism or judgment, you can keep your story entirely to yourself if you wish to do so. The only time when you have to “share” your novel is if you’ve written 50.000 words and want to become an official Winner. You have to submit your story on their website, they calculate the total wordcount, and according to their website they delete it immediately after.
The website is used to keep track of your word count, which will be visible on your account. You’ll get a nice graph overview of the words you’ve written, the amount of words you need to write a day to finish on time and at what date you’ll be finished if you continue the same way. So if you already write 5000 words on the first day because you’re excited and in the flow, your required daily word count goes down and if you would write 5000 words every day, you’d obviously finish sooner. It’s really fun to update your word count often, so your NaNoWriMo friends can cheer you on.
You might wonder why anyone would do this to themselves. Writing 50.000 words in one month sounds quite stressful. And it is, but it also sounds pretty cool, right? But seriously: NaNoWriMo might sound horrible and impossible, but it will be something you learn from one way or another. Even if you don’t reach the 50.000, there will be more words on paper than you started with. Especially if it’s your first time participating in this writing event or you are at uni or have a fultime job, you shouldn’t stress too much about reaching that goal. There’s always next year to try again.
I have participated in NaNoWriMo before, and failed miserably. I wasn’t prepared enough when I started writing and got stuck in the middle of my story. It wasn’t going anywhere and I became really frustrated with that story. (But I still wrote almost 26.000 words!) This year I’ll try again. I might not go for the 50.000, maybe 30.000 is enough. I’ll see how it goes. NaNoWriMo dares you to just write and not worry wether it’s good enough or not. That’s something for later.
Before NaNoWriMo starts, I’ll post another blog post with some tips on how to survive NaNoWriMo. Let me know if you’re going to participate as well!