So, against all sane reason, I signed up to do NaNoWriMo. In all honesty, I highly doubt I’ll reach the 50,000 word count goal, but that’s okay. I signed up to join many of my writer friends, share in the angst that accompanies the grueling process of writing a first draft, and to end my streak of procrastination.
First of all, let me point out what National Novel Writing Month ISN’T meant to accomplish:
- A finished, polished novel ready for submission. If you can write and edit at least 50k words in a month you probably won’t sleep, or eat, or do any of the things which keep a person healthy and sane.
- Improve your writing skills. Depending on your skill level in the craft, re-writes and edits may take a few months or a few years. Workshops, books, and practice are all part of that process.
- Get you published. It has been said that the last thing you should trot out in your query letter is that the piece in question is a product of NaNoWriMo. Never mind that you may have spent five years making it the best work ever, editors have seen too many unpolished manuscripts to view that as a bonus.
The point of all the hub-bub of NaNoWriMo is to help aspiring writers get past that daunting first step: writing the novel. Whether digital or an actual blank page, that expanse of white can be a monumental hurdle to leap. When thousands of other people are attempting the same task and you realize it isn’t particularly easy for any of them, you discover you aren’t alone. The important thing is to persevere.
There are ten gazillion reasons to put off writing that story rattling in your head, but you only need one good reason to set pen to paper or fingers to keys: determination to tell your story.
Let the writing commence!