Anyone who has ever participated in National Novel Writing Month knows that October 31st is not only Halloween, but it also marks the night before a frightening, psychedelic, month-long frenzy. Writing a 50,000 word novel in a month seems crazy impossible to the wannabe novelist. Yet, it’s just the kind of impossible every amateur writer should tackle.
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You write a few chapters of a story, lose steam for whatever reason (the plot isn’t working, you don’t know what to write next, life distracts you), so the next time you sit down to write, you start something new. You’ve never actually finished any of your novels. And a part of you wonders if you’ll ever become a famous writer. The voices of your naysayers echo louder every day. Sound about right?
Join the club.
But don’t desist. Those are just your fears and insecurities talking. You can finish a novel, you can be a great writer. Probably not in a month, but if you do take on NaNoWriMo, it could be the first foot into the door of success.
NaNoWriMo helped me overcome a seemingly insurmountable wall. I finally finished the first draft of my novel the first year I participated in NaNoWriMo. The euphoria of my accomplishment broke down the barrier that had kept me from really pursuing my dreams. I finished another draft the year, and another the year after that. Now, writing 50k+ isn’t a big deal, and I’m not intimidated by the million hours of editing that face me after the first draft. Well, maybe a little intimidated, but I know I can do it because, guess what? I did the impossible.
If you’re still trying to decide if NaNoWriMo is a good choice for you, think about where you are and where you want to be. Are you struggling to finish? Then what the hey? Take a chance. Join the millions of others who are also just trying to finish.
To sign up, go to nanowrimo.org, create your novel’s profile, and when the clock strikes midnight, get writing. This could be your year.
UVW events supporting NaNoWriMo:
Nov. 3 – word sprints @ Orem Library, storytelling wing, 6pm-9pm
Nov. 5 – kick off party with word sprints @ Provo Library Rm 201 (Pizza and prizes) 2pm-6pm
Nov. 12 – word sprints @ Provo Library, 2nd floor computer lab, 2pm-6pm
Nov. 17 – word sprints @ Orem Library, storytelling wing, 6pm-9pm
Nov. 19 – word sprints @ Provo Library, 2nd floor computer lab, 2pm-6pm
* Word sprints are races to see how much you can write in a set amount of time. They stretch your abilities and help you streamline thought into words. Something about listening to the typing around you makes your own fingers tap faster on the keys.