November is NaNoWriMo

Like many writers around the world, I will be participating in NaNoWriMo this year. This annual event calls out a challenge to writers to put procrastination aside and commit to writing 50,000 words in a month. A daily average of 1,666 words, give or take, will get you to the finish line. But as with all memorable experiences, it is more about the journey than the destination.

This will be my third NaNoWriMo. I don’t do it every year for various reasons. The majority of my writing is in the short story form, so writing 50,000 words in a month doesn’t really fit in with that approach. But there are often stories or ideas that cannot be confined to a restricted word count. Sometimes it is good to explore an idea over a longer format, to give characters a chance to develop and discover things along the way.

The word count is a challenge but I’m not overly concerned about it as I was able to meet the target at my last two attempts. It was easier the second time as I knew what to expect, and on days when the words were flowing, I made the most of it to provide a buffer for the days when life got in the way. There is comfort in knowing that even if the word count isn’t met, I will have more words written by the end of November than if I’d not participated.

And I do like a creative challenge. Since May I have been writing a minimum of 250 words a day on various topics. This has included short stories, flash fiction, blog posts and general personal rants that help to keep my sanity in check. It has helped me feel connected to writing, and on most days I write beyond the minimum. There are some days when it is a bit of a challenge but I’ve surprised myself by maintaining the momentum. Ideas seem to pop up throughout the day, or I’ll wake up with a clear idea of what I want to write, which is a special kind of thrill.

The prospect of writing 50,000 words in a month is a challenge, even with a regular writing habit to draw strength from. But I like the idea of pushing myself creatively for a month, to give writing extra focus, and to be part of a worldwide community of writers who are also out there, scribbling and tapping and creating worlds of their own at the same time.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo – or some other creative challenge?

[Photo: a reminder that you can do hard things, spotted at Lane Cove]

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6 thoughts on “November is NaNoWriMo

  1. For me it is a challenge every month, as I am presently writing about the difficulties my wife and I were facing in the first three years in Calgary in the continuing saga of our family history. Good luck and best wishes on your 50,000 words writing challenge!

    • Hi Peter, thank you for sharing. It would be a challenge to write about the early years in Calgary, and I can only imagine what it must be like to revisit some of these memories. I wish you all the very best as you continue to create a treasured family history.

  2. Hallo Darling,

    That’s all very well you and your writing obsessions, just go ahead and do it;the 1st of November has different meanings for me, we took possession of this house on that day in 1967, this was the first and hopefully the last place I will live in. I love and enjoy being here and marvel at your Dad and my choice, it is now the place to live.

    love from Mum.

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