How long does it take to write a novel? For some, it takes a lifetime, but for the challenge-driven writer, it takes a mere 30 days.
For those writers who’ve been hiding in a cave with me, National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) is a challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in the month of November.
Having just learned of NaNo last year on Twitter, I decided to explore it for myself. What better place to investigate than the official website.
At first click, I see lots of sparkly, fun areas to explore … ooooh … a store! Let’s start there. Posters, T-shirts, stickers, oh my! It’s a shopper’s delight. My guess is this would be an excellent procrastination tool during the challenge. Bookmark that one.
I toggle my mouse over some more links. Apparently, they want donations. Makes sense. Judging from what I see so far, a lot of work has been put into the organization and promotion. I respect hard work. Bookmark.
While you’re waiting for NaNo to begin, you can decorate your profile–even put a halo on yourself for a $10 donation. Now, that’s not a bad deal. I wonder if they offer that in Heaven?
Let’s see what else is lurking. Procrastination Station–come to Mama! Click. You can actually record yourself singing. Hmmm … I shall find other ways to procrastinate, thank you very much.
Young Writers’ Program: What better way to keep your kids out of trouble than to challenge them to write a novel with you. Make it a fun competition, with a common goal. It might even get that teen talking to you. Just sayin’.
If the website isn’t enough, NaNo also has a blog: The Office of Letters and Light. I clicked, not knowing what this blog could possibly be. As I scrolled down, I found this: “For most NaNoWriMo participants, the Office of Letters and Light is a mythical place, on par with Hogwarts and that treehouse the Keebler elves live in. While most people have a general idea of what emerges from such places, few ever actually get to go inside.” Well, there you have it, as described by Sarah Mackey, the new intern at OLL. Bookmark.
I’m convinced. I’m signing up. Let’s see where I can go after I officially declare my insanity and put my goal “out there” for all to see.
I’ve entered the land of My NaNoWriMo. I now have a picture, can search for buddies to support me, and list the topic of my novel and a description. While I love the idea of having buddies, I did find it hard to figure out the search process. That could definitely use improving, especially since I would guess it’s one of the most sought after features. I’ll put a suggestion in the box. Wait? Is there a box? Hmm… “contact” was a little hard to find, and even then, tells you to check all the FAQs before bugging them. That needs fixing too.
Despite a few not-so-easy features, I understand from past users the site has gotten better and better every year. You can sign up for meetings and updates with NaNo writers in your area and meet people in person. Or you can participate in a Write In at an area library with other NaNo-ites.
There are links to Pep Talks, Word Count Widgets, and a plethora of other nifty gadgets for distraction-purposes.
All in all, the site is very comprehensive, offering tips, support, and connections, as well as plenty of procrastination opportunities. In fact, the whole concept has great synergy with the Write On! Online goal platform: post weekly goals on Facebook and monthly goals on the website. This is just one BIG goal to bite off.
While only 20% of the participants “win,” anyone who tries is a winner in my book. Yes, cliché to say, but in truth, anything that helps you get words on the page is a worthy goal, whether you get to 50,000 or not.
I suggest exploring it now, so when November 1st hits, you have no excuses. That’s my plan. Procrastinate in October; write my fingers to the bones in November.
Join me. Buddy me. My username is jeannevb. Warm up your inspiration and click on the site to get started. It’s that simple.
4 of 5 Purple Pencils
Post your NaNoWriMo profile link in the comments section, so the Write On! Members can support each other.
Remember, to declare NaNo as your November Write On! Goal.Tags: Jeanne Veillette Bowerman NaNoWriMo National Novel Writing Month Write a Novel in a Month Write On! Reviews