Sunday, May 2, 2010

Do NaNoWriMo

The month of November is a special month for many aspiring writers. That's when NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, happens.

The goal for each NaNoWriMo participant is to write 50,000 words between November 1st and November 30th--enough for a short novel. That works out to a daily writing goal of about 1700 words, or nearly seven pages of typed double-spaced text. And if you type at a reasonably fast 30 words a minute, that means you'll be hammering out text for about one hour a day.

If you have a full-time job, you will most likely find NaNoWriMo to be an ambitious, but not impossible, writing goal. You'll need to be creative with your time.

But there are two aspects of NaNoWriMo that I really like, and they are the key reasons why I think beginning and intermediate writers should consider participating:

1) It uses the power of an aggressive deadline to drive you to writing feats that you'd never otherwise accomplish. NaNoWriMo's site even has advice on how to come down from what might be the single most intense month of writing in your life.

2) It may sound counterintuitive, but writing for an entire month under these conditions takes off all the pressure from writing. Your material is likely to be at best first draft quality, so it's much easier to skip worrying about the quality and just write. Talk about a creative way to crush writer's block once and for all!