It’s that time of the year again. Standing at the bottom of the mountain, staring up at that endless summit with your ‘50,000 words’ flag clenched anxiously in your hand. There’s less than one month until NaNoWriMo, folks!
Let’s rehash – what is NaNoWriMo? Why, it’s National Novel Writing Month, an online event held every year where writers do what they do best: write – and lots of it. The goal is to write 50,000 words in November, which comes to about 1,667 words a day. It’s a monstrous challenge for most, a walk in the park for some and pretty worthwhile for everyone involved. The best part is, you don’t really lose out if you don’t make the 50,000 words. Even if you only got 5,000 words in, that’s 5,000 words you didn’t have before and that’s not counting any inspiring epiphanies you might’ve had in the process.
Oh wait, I lied. That’s not the best best part – which is, of course, that it’s free! And the best best best part is you’re not alone. The forums are always bursting with activity, from day-to-day chats, to Wrimos answering each other’s research questions, to adopting pet names. It’s a great atmosphere to be in.
… Now here’s where I get booed off stage for admitting I probably won’t be taking part in this awesome ordeal this year. I’d really love to! Camp NaNo was great (even if I did make a mad rush in the last 24 hours). I’ve got exams and work going on in November, and my preparation for my novel isn’t really mature yet. BUT! I’m certainly going to be doing a little writing challenge of my own! To be honest, I will probably never have the right timing and speed to hit 50,000 words while I’m a student. So my goals are usually smaller. Maybe I’ll try for 750 words a day. I might even sign up for NaNoWriMo despite not being in the same race – the atmosphere might give me a boost! I don’t know what I’ll be doing specifically but I do know one thing – in November, I’m going to write.
Which is probably what some of you do every day anyway. So why did I make this post?
Because I haven’t been doing much of it. Writing, that is. I’ve been really bad with progress lately, being so busy with uni and my new job… and taking naps… and playing Skyrim… and watching anime… and telling myself I will write tomorrow. It feels like I’ve hit a motivational rut for everything, not just writing. The only good thing that came out of it was realising I’m probably not the only one with this dilemma. We all get stuck sometimes. Realising we’re stuck is the first step. Pulling yourself out of it is a downright sprint.
That’s why I really hope you guys will consider joining NaNoWriMo this year, or making a solid writing goal for yourself. To anyone who is suffering a bout of laziness, demotivation or a plain period of busy life, I just wanted to tell you that I’m right there with you! And that in the slowest, laziest way possible, I’m gradually dragging myself out of it. I just needed a big push of willpower. And I’m not saying I’m back on track (because I’m pretty sure I’m still way south of it), but I’ve got a novel that I can’t bear to leave unrealised. I’m quite terrified of never finishing it by the time I die. I am that unbelievably unproductive. I admit it.
My belief is that if you create a character, they trust you to tell their story. They can get tired of being let down time after time, just like us. Maybe one day they’ll leave us, their good for nothing creators. You never know when that day is just around the corner, so get writing! NaNoWriMo is a beacon of what any writer would love to achieve. But don’t give up just because you think, or even know, that you can’t do it. Just get as far as you can. There’s a story itching in those fingers that only you can tell – you, one in 7 billion. No one else will be able to write the same story with the same plot, the same characters, the same development and the same writing style – not even if you told someone to ghost write it for you. Now that’s a thought!
You have a world in your hands. Don’t drop it.