In case you never heard of it. November is National Novel Writing Month – that’s right, NaNoWriMo. And Nanowrimo.org is the place to go to sign up for a month long novel writing cram session. If you want to do it, hurry and sign up, it starts tomorrow! The website gives you forums, encouragement, a place to upload your work and just that general kick in the pants motivation you need if you’ve been hemming and hawing about writing a novel.Of course there are critics.
Won’t a novel you force yourself to complete in 30 days be a pile of crap? Oh, well there’s that. Maybe. Maybe it will. But then again I’ve been on deadlines to write articles of 1 or 2 days and I don’t think my resulting work was crap. Some of those articles were good some were not my favorite, but overall they were decent. And what if your NaNoWriMo novel is crap? So what.
The reason I am going to try out NaNoWriMo for the first time is that I feel that need to have a goal, to establish a habit, a routine. A boot camp if you will. I feel like it will do me good to just jump in and see where the challenge takes me. I have one idea and it might make a decent novel. If it doesn’t I will keep writing anyway and keep trying to work it into a good story.
Yes, okay, in the real world sometimes ideas should be abandoned if they just don’t work – I brainstormed this idea recently that I think will make a good novel length romantic suspense story. Forcing yourself to make something and release the creativity is a good thing! NOT EVERYTHING YOU WRITE HAS TO BE SALABLE!
Sometimes, sad to say for some, writing is practice. A gymnast who is practicing vaulting doesn’t get a perfect 10 the first or even the 10th time! They fall they really mess up a lot, but once in a while – with practice – they get a perfect vault. That’s how I look at writing. I realize most of my work will be just okay. Some will stink. Some will be brilliant. It’s only the brilliant things I intend on sending to a professional editor for consideration.
NaNoWriMo is for people who have an idea they want to turn into a novel but need practice. It’s practice and practice is good. It might even result in a very well developed good idea that needs just a little more work when the deadline of November 30th midnight wraps up National Novel Writing Month. The sense of accomplishment might be enough to just encourage a new author to explore writing further.