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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Nanowrimo

What is Nanowrimo?

Also known affectionately as Nano, National Novel Writing Month takes place every November, challenging writers to let go of all their hang-ups, of their inner critics, by pushing them to write 50,000 words in one month. That is an entire category length novel in just thirty days!

Why? Because so many people start novels, then lose motivation and never finish. Or worse, get stuck in permanent revision syndrome and never get beyond the first few chapters. Writing an entire novel in 30 days teaches you discipline. You'll have good days and bad days, but by making time every day to try to hit a target of 1,700 words, you'll get into the habit of writing, and once the habit is formed you'll be a better writer for it.

The best thing about Nano is that there is no time to sit and think about whether what you've written stinks or not. You just write. In the now immortal words of Nora Roberts (and I paraphrase!): you can edit a bad page, but you can't edit a blank page.
It is perfectly acceptable to think that what you've written is awful. But just keep writing. Yes, you'll probably land up deleting or rewriting whole chunks in the editing process, but that's okay. It's all part of the process. The sense of accomplishment you'll get from just finishing something, even if it's something that still needs a whole lot of polishing, is unbeatable!

Even if you don't achieve the whole 50,000 words in the month, anything you write will be more than you had before. You'll still feel awesome!

I failed miserably with Nano last year when my day job exploded all over the place, but I walked away with more than 15,000 words on a new novel - a novel that less than a year later has been completed, polished and submitted. I owe that to the push that Nano gave me. And this year I'm determined to win a Nano medal!

Throughout October we'll be sharing tips on how and where to sign up, how to prepare for Nano, as well as personal stories from past participants.

So are you all fired up now to join us for Nano 2009? Let the countdown begin ...

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