NaNoWriMo – what a novel challenge

Next month is November, and while for some that means growing unsightly facial hair in the name of charity, it means a challenge harder than most of us have faced before for those who enjoy hacking away at a keyboard or scribbling down our latest fiction idea.

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and while the title of the challenge is pretty self-explanatory, completing it will be far from easy. The challenge is to write a novel of 50,000 in one calendar month. Signing up to the site gives you access to forums and others’ profiles to cheer each other on and check out a bit of friendly competition with a daily word count meter.

Some people take part in NaNoWriMo for charity, asking their friends to sponsor them to reach their target. For me
though, it’s just a personal challenge. I’ve had an idea for a novel for over a year now, and started getting it down on paper a few weeks ago. I’m only about 1000 words in so something like this is really well timed. I have always struggled with the notion of completing a project. Whether it’s learning to crochet, homemaking some art or even remembering to finish eating a pack of tomatoes before their best before date, completing things just isn’t something I’m good at.

The idea with NaNoWriMo is that everyone doing something at the same time will encourage you to carry on when the going gets tough and complete something you’re proud of in the end. There are even local meet-ups going on in some places to help people in person with ideas and motivation, and anyone who completes the challenge gets a certificate and a badge for their blog.

Knowing what I’m like, I want to set myself a more achievable target, so I’ll be happy if by the end of the month I have got to 30,000 words, averaging 1000 a day. It’s much less, but will still create enough of a challenge to make it difficult.

If you like the idea and want to sign up yourself, add me on the site so we can check out each other’s progress. There’s still time and plenty of people to start you off with ideas and advice. I hope to see you at the start line in a couple of day’s time. Happy writing!


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