In five days, Nanowrimo starts. For those who are not writers and even for some who are, you might be scratching your head and be saying Nano what? Nanowrimo. Nanowrimo is for writers, those who want to write, those who have played with the idea of writing, and those who don't know if they can write but sure as hell want to try.
Basically, in a nutshell, it's trying to write 50,000 words in a month. It sounds crazy right? I mean, 50,000 words in a month? I bet you're thinking that's not achievable. It's nuts, right? Think again. I've won it four years in a row - and when I mean I have won it, I mean I have written 50,000 words in less than a month and continued writing.
The whole idea is to write, write, write. Don't think about it, just write. Don't worry about editing while you're writing. Frankly, m'dear that's what December is for. Just write and let it all flow out. Some people plan the novel and the what, where, how and when's. Others, like me will wing it.
Nanowrimo is about quantity over quality. It's a guarantee that some of what you write is going to be crap. I've written crap. You may also write a varse amount of great writing. I've done that as well. You want to get the creative juices flowing and get as much as your ideas down as possible. It's about intensity, allowing yourself to make mistakes. In reality, you are laying down the framework for what could be a damn good novel.
Don't get me wrong, there are going to be some novels written by the end of it that the authors will re-read and have the urge to cull completely. There will be others novels that will flow perfectly for an author and will need little tweaking. Now those are the authors we're all going to hate. Simply because, in my opinion, no novel never needs no tweaking and if they don't, their writers are literary geniuses at best.
It's about comradeship. Writers from all over the world getting together and churning out all these amazing and not so amazing stories that have been triggered by their imagination.
For me, Nanowrimo is about pushing myself and motivating myself to write more than I already do. Part of me says look you need to do it in a month and it's the motivation that's much needed. While most people think you need to start a fresh novel every year, there will be other writers willing to use November to finish off the novel that they need to finish. November is their boost of encouragement.
Nanowrimo is more than just a writers fest for well...writers. It's about getting out there, sharing your ideas with people and also meeting fellow writers. You can join communities aimed directly at the city you live in and participate in write-ins. Most cities will have drinks nights or annual Barbecues and get togethers. It's a way of meeting new people who are just like you. There is the rivalry between cities - take Sydney and Melbourne - which usually results in a write off between the two cities. It's crazy. It's fun and it's war.
Anyone who is not a writer does not know that it is a lonely life. Sure, you have family and friends who will support you but unless they're writers themselves they will not fully understand that writing is a path you can only take on your own. That the journey to writing your novel is a lonely one. Yes, there is amazing support for some people and not so little for others, but ultimately it is still a journey taken solo.
Nanowrimo takes away some of that loneliness by connecting writers with other people who get what you are going through. They understand the commitment, the frustration, the deadlines and the obsessive compulsive self-editing that comes with being a writer.
It allows writers to dream. It allows writers to follow the path they have always yearned to take but always faltered at, wondering whether they will make it. Nanowrimo gives you the first step for free. More importantly, Nanowrimo gives you the freedom to be yourself in a stronghold of other writers.
This year, I'm torn between using Nanowrimo to finish up Nowhere to Run, because I have started to stagnate, or starting a new novel. Knowing I have that December deadline looming I am leaning towards Nowhere to Run and its completion. Yet the idea of starting a new novel fills me with unbridled joy.
One of the reasons I really love Nanowrimo is that it allows me to test my own boundaries and I'd recommend it to all writers. Really, when you think about it, 50,000 words in 30 days is not much. Look at it from the basics, it's only 1670 words at the most a day. I don't know about you but I write more than that in just by playing around on facebook, twitter or other social mediums. Instead of wasting hours on that, you can sit down and write. For me 1670 words is maybe an hour to an hour and a half of solid writing.
Agents have been known to hate Nanowrimo, but for me it's one of my favorite times of the year aside from Halloween. I get to write and the knowledge that there are others just like me doing the same thing warms my heart to pieces.
So whose with me this year? If you are, you can add me at Nanowrimo here
Are you ready peoples? I sure as hell aren't but I am excited.