Why would anyone write 50,000 words in one month?
November is National Novel Writing Month, known by most writers as NaNoWriMo or NaNo for short. The aim of thousands of writers from all over the world is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. And you can win… nothing. Well OK, there is a nifty certificate you can print out if you get to 50K, and your progress bar turns from green to purple, and a few sponsors give price reductions on some of their products, but that’s all. No extra exposure in multi-million reader news, no guarantees publishing contract, not even a boost of readers for your novels. So why would any writer take part?
The answer is simple. Writing a novel takes a lot of time on the keyboard (yes, even starving authors like us are no longer using type-writers), and most of this time, the author spends alone. During NaNo, writing becomes fun. In the forums, non-bloody word-wars break out (writing as many words in a set amount of time as possible), twitter is overflowing with support from people I’ve never met, bloggers blog about their experiences with NaNo, and there’s an all round feeling of accomplishment in the air. It’s exhilarating and (at least for me) addictive. I took part for the 6th time this year, and I’m marvelling at how nicely my newest project is growing.
At the end of the month, I will be the proud creator of a nearly finished, still-to-be-revised novel about a young girl in Stone Age Africa who has to wake the rain goddess before the heat daemon destroys the earth. And I’m soooooo looking forward to that. Also, I will have got to know many new, interesting people. That alone is worth every second I spent on NaNo. Are you a writer? Then, try for yourself next year. Are you a reader? head over to the NaNoWriMo website and browse a few projects. It’s so much fun seeing creativity at work.