It’s coming towards the end of October and it can only mean one thing, that the scariest, most stressful (for some) time of year is almost upon us. It’s fun but frustrating, it sends you crazy but we still do it. Some of us EVERY year (not me unfortunately) and some of us win whilst others fail (not quite so) miserably.
Yes, folks it’s NaNoWriMo!
*cue screams, cheers and looks of confusion*
For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo (Or National Writing Month) is when thousands of writers all over the world write 50,000 words of a novel during the month of November the idea being that you make time to write 1665 words a day. It also gives you permission to cast away any insecurities you have about your writing and write really terrible prose because you don’t have time to write the same sentence over and over six billion times until you get it just perfect. Besides, it’s only a first draft, you can edit it all in December after you realise you’ve left it too late to do any Christmas shopping.
Why am I telling you this? Well, because I’m taking part. (Who needs sanity anyway?) I’m not starting a new story (although I have a few ideas for some.) and I’m just going to continue on with my current manuscript. It’s sort of cheating I guess, but never mind. Also it will be interesting, since I have to do some work experience for the first two weeks of November but I can fit it around that. Hell, the first time I took part, I was in my third year of uni, had two assignments to finish right slap bang in the middle and still managed to reach 50,000 words. So it is doable.
Anyway, I digress. One of the things that NaNoWriMo taught me to do (and something that I still do.) is to never edit until you have finished the thing that you’re writing. It may sound obvious, but how many of us have tried to edit as we go, spending ages polishing the beginning and never actually finishing anything? I feel it takes the a lot of the pressure off the first draft if I just write the words that pop into my head. It’s very freeing and allows you just to focus on your ideas and the story you want to tell rather than the words. I mean, sure the words are important, but you can make them all pretty and articulate later.
Another thing that I learnt from doing NaNoWriMo is the importance of telling your friends and family about it (it does eat away at your social life and you kind of need to let them know what you’re doing.) because if you tell someone that you’re writing a novel, they will probably occasionally ask you about it and how it’s going. It helps because then you feel as though you have to finish it at the very least to avoid awkward conversations about how you never got past writing the fifth chapter.
So yeah, let me know if you’re also going to take part in NaNoWriMo, maybe we can share our tears and triumphs as the month progresses. Sorry, I haven’t been posting as regularly as I should be lately, it’s kind of difficult to get back into the habit of things.