I know lots of writers who swear by NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It’s a great motivator as thousands of people around the globe all pledge to write 50,000 words in a month. Plenty of published novels — some even New York Times bestsellers — started out as NaNoWriMo projects.
I’ve only done NaNoWriMo once before. Usually November is a busy month for me, and last year, when I had a NaNo project in mind I didn’t want to wait until November, so I fast-drafted during the end of September and October. But I’ve always loved the sense of community NaNoWriMo creates, and for the last three years I’ve signed my library up to be an official Come Write In location. This year, I’m encouraging my teens to do the Young Writers Program (and seeing if I can convince their English teachers to offer participants extra credit). It feels wrong to encourage so many others to do something I won’t do myself.
So this year I’m doing NaNoWriMo again. I have no idea what I’m going to write, but I have a month to figure it out. And this way, when my young writers stress about word counts or sagging middles, I’ll be in the trenches with them. We can fight our way out together.
Do you participate in NaNoWriMo?