Have you ever thought that you had a book in you? How would you feel about writing that book in a month. Yes, the whole book, start to finish. National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, challenges anyone who has a desire to write, to . . . well, write. 50,000 words to be exact. 50,000 words in a month. I’ve participated 5 years in a row and so far, I haven’t finished once. I probably shouldn’t admit that. The way I see it, though, is even if I wrote 20,000 words, that’s 20,000 words more than I would have written without the challenge of at least trying to reach 50,000 words.
While working as a full time freelance writer sounds idealistic, one of the downsides of writing professionally is that some of the fun is sucked out. When you turn something into a job, it becomes . . . well, a job. It’s precisely because I spend close to 40 hours a week writing that I am both insane for participating in NaNoWriMo and insane for even thinking about not participating. Writing is, and always has been, fun. It’s just easy to forget that when you’re on a deadline or you’re writing copy for something exceptionally boring. Not that anything I write is ever boring. I will, however, be forced to yank my hair out one strand at a time if I see another fact about childhood fevers.
One of the best things about NaNoWriMo is the support that you get. The forums alone are a wonderful source for fact checking nearly anything you want to for your novel and finding support from other would-be NaNoWriMoers. While the website itself will likely be difficult to get onto over the first few days, it has some great tools that keep you on task and prevent you from trashing your novel and spending November watching reruns of Grey’s Anatomy and eating your kids’ leftover Halloween candy.