For writers, November is more than just the buffer between Halloween parties and the big Thanksgiving feast, it's also Nanowrimo, a ridiculously sounding acronym for National Novel Writing Month, in which many writers take on the challenge of writing a 50k word novel in a month. Thirty days, which, if you do the math, comes out to about 1,667 words a day. Not an entirely unattainable number to meet, but many writers, even great ones like Stephen King, do not meet this goal on a daily basis, and to accomplish this for thirty days in a row, along with work, kids, eating, sleeping, and whatever else most of us need to attend to each day, it can be nearly impossible.
The shear insanity of this should scare every writer in the world off, and yet each year, thousands of writers step up to the challenge, and while not all succeed, many have at least written a good portion of a novel, even if it’s a horribly rough first draft. But, like someone once said, first drafts don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be written.
A lot of writers will tell you it’s not about actually succeeding at finishing a novel, but the joy of immersing yourself in the writing process, while others hope to complete that rough first draft of the novel they’ve been wanting to write and kept putting off.
Personally, I’ve never once attempted to engage in Nanowrimo, preferring to maintain my own sane writing schedule, but this year, I have decided to at least up my daily word count each day, and to force myself into the chair every single day whether I want to or not. I am, at least for the moment, fortunate enough to not have a day job that gets in the way, so I really shouldn’t have any excuse not to produce a decent number of words every day.
For those of you bold enough (or foolish enough, depending on your perspective), to go all in this November with the intention of finishing that novel you’ve been neglecting, good luck to you, I truly hope you do. And if you want to officially sign up, here’s the link: https://nanowrimo.org/
Just know this: whether you participate in Nanowrimo or not, whether you succeed in finishing that novel or don’t, so long as you get your ass in the chair every week and write with an end goal in mind, you’re still a writer. Even if you never publish, you’re still a writer, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.