Friday, November 8, 2013

NaNoWriMo: Have you caught the fever?

Two things: First, I can't believe it's already been one year since I participated in NaNoWriMo. 
Wow. I guess when you're busy, the days just fly by! Unless you have a cold (which I do). In that case, the days drag on, and on...and on. But that's not my point. 
Second, I find it fascinating that it's also been one year since State of Emergency was written. Yep. It was a product of NaNoWriMo. In the timespan of one year I have written five novels. I have also published two national bestselling books. Funny how 365 days changes your life, right? Like they say, life is best lived forward, but best understood backwards. 

(I got that saying in a chinese fortune cookie this past Tuesday, and I've been looking for an excuse to use it in a post. So there you go. Random bit of wisdom for you.) 

So now I'm participating in 2013's NaNoWriMo competition, and I'm having a blast! A stressed blast, but a blast nonetheless. So far I'm right on schedule. By the end of today I will have reached at least 13,336 words. Probably more. NaNoWriMo simply has that effect on me. I write more when I'm having more fun. I also think it's interesting to watch non-authors experience for a mere 30 days how hard it is to write and finish a novel. Not quite as easy as it looks, eh? Nope. Definitely not. NaNoWriMo makes novel-writing extra fun for the duration of its 30 days because so many people participate. You could call it the Christmas season for authors. 

I get asked the same questions about NaNoWriMo a lot, regarding how it works, who's in charge and so forth. Here's one of the most frequent: 
How do you write 50,000 words in 30 days? HOW?
You sit down and write. It's that simple. And that difficult. By the time you hit week three, you'll hit a slump, believe me. Because who wants to sit down and write when you've got places to go and things to do? do if you want to get 50K words in. 

And there's also this: 
What does NaNoWriMo mean? 
National Novel Writing Month. It's a non-profit organization, and you can go to their website to learn more about the cool people who run the competition. 

And this: 
What's the point of writing a novel? 
What's the point of breathing? Sheesh. Writing a novel is one of the most epic and equally difficult experiences you can ever have in your life. Seriously. Not a lot of people can say, "I totally wrote a novel last month. Just for fun." Yeah. It makes for a pretty cool conversation starter. Trust me. 

And lastly, this: 
How do you stay disciplined enough to finish the book?  
That's completely up to you. I'm used to the self-imposed stress and deadlines of being a career writer, so NaNoWriMo is like one extra piece of homework for me to do during November. But if you're not used to that kind of structure, this competition is one way to give yourself an awesome sense of focus. 

Are YOU participating in NaNoWriMo? Or are you an observer of this literary sprint? I like to think of myself as both. But now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go check the showtimes for Thor: The Dark World
Consider it my writing break. I won't get behind, I promise!


  1. I'm participating, though I think I need a nap before I tackle my words for the day. I'm not worried--I've got Write or Die! on my side!


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