NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is here! This internet-fueled tradition challenges participants to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. The rationale is quantity over quality—many aspiring authors get so paralyzed with the desire to be perfect that they never get started, and Nano’s ambitious quota prompts you to bypass your internal filters, just write and worry about making it ‘perfect’ later.
I have successfully completed two NaNos in the past, and greatly enjoyed them. I live in a city with a very active local chapter who hosts many events and gatherings which make it even better. I am not in that particular phase of life anymore—work and family commitments make it more difficult these days for me to spend an entire month traipsing around to coffee shops and meetups for this sort of thing—but the spirit of NaNo has been so ingrained in me that the month of November has become synonymous with Project Month in my mind. It might not be a novel this year, but it will be a something!
So what will that something be? A FAQ on the NaNoWriMo website does encourage people to try it the regular way if it’s their first time. But with that said, a ‘Nanorebels’ forum on the official message boards is surprisingly active with posters planning non-fiction, graphic novels, web comics and other things. I may do something art-themed. I feel like I need a boot camp to refine my emerging visual arts skills, which were ignited by a book during the Jewish New Year on the Zentangle method. I may pick up a copy of Keri Smith’s ‘Wreck this Journal’ and make it my November goal to work through the whole thing. I figure as long as I am doing something creative, and pushing myself with an ambitious goal that’s in the spirit of Nano’s 50K word count, I am doing my bit.
I love the NaNoWriMo concept. It’s not about having a polished book that’s ready to hit the shelves at the end of the month. It’s about finally getting your thoughts and ideas down. If nothing else- it’s a great start!