A year ago, NaNoWriMo meant nothing to me. It was something people who took writing seriously subscribed to. It wasn't for aspiring writers, like me; one still learning, exploring, experimenting, and yet to find what is often referred to as their 'voice', when they write. In the past month, the word kept popping up in my 'socials' feeds, on podcasts and on writers blogs. Who is this strange creature NaNoWriMo?
Then I listened to a 'So You Want To Be A Writer' podcast from the Australian Writer's Centre presented by the incredibly talented, funny and adorable Allison Tait and Valerie Khoo. In this particular podcast the team interviews the CEO of NaNoWriMo, who spills the beans on its success since its inception in 1999. So what is it?
NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month and described as a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. You sign-up, create a profile and log your word count each day. Sounds fun or grueling. I reckon its both.
And guess what, I signed up. Yep, I'm committed to writing 1,667 words a day for the next month. On average, I can smash out 550 words of complete drivel in an hour and that's if I have a simple plot plan. But what I have to remind myself is I am merely coughing up a first draft. Coughed up like an alpaca's fur ball that needs a lot of cleaning and combing before its a nice piece of wool, ready to knit into a classic cashmere jumper. All writers first drafts are a mess. Roll with it and just write.
Please join me in my NaNoWriMo ride this November. I am a numbers loving geek and will happily post my weekly progress here, over the next month. And what am I writing? My first YA novel. Can't wait to cough it up.