NaNoWriMo: Writer’s Heaven and Hell

in writing •  26 days ago

Are you a writer? Do you like to wrestle with words, create worlds and show off shining ideas? You don’t know what NaNoWriMo is? Then this post is for you.


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Every year in November strange things happen. People say goodbye to their family, stuffing up on ramen and other durable food. They start do to word wars and complain about characters not doing what they should do and hurting fingers and heavy eyelids.

Every year the same complaints. And yet still they wait feverishly for the next year. What happened?

No longer National

NaNoWriMo, or just NaNo for writers (don’t confuse with the way smaller nano), is the short for National Novel Writing Month.
It is a very apt name except that it is no longer national. But the name does not get changed to International because InNoWriMo looks only half as cool and sounds like a digestion problem.

Every year in November hundreds of thousands of people try to win the fight with the words and ultimately themselves, because the task is daunting: In the month of November write a Novel with 50’000 words. Or 1667 words a day.

Every single day.

This is hard. This is even harder for us Germans then for English writers because we have longer words. But we still do it, and so can YOU!

Participate


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You just need to sign up at the website and announce your novel. Then wait until November the first and start writing 1667 words a day. Enter the words you achieved on the website to see how you are getting closer and closer to the goal. And keep writing.

Of course you can do related activities. Look for other people you may already know, look for the events your local liaisons make for you, like organizing word wars. Find out what that is alone, this way you may find other interesting stuff.

But of course, the only thing you really need to do is go on writing.


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On that topic: The start is often very easy. But for most writers, around days 7-10, there is a point when you have placed all characters, established the scenes, unveiled the conflicts. And then…
nothing.
Blank page, blank mind, pure panic.

But this is when the motto of NaNo jumps to your help, the superman of all people with writing blocks. The motto is short, beautiful and enlightening. And it is this:

Keep on writing.


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There. Nothing hard, right? Just type. Get a few helps from the forums. This is not the end. This is just the start of a new beginning. Just keep on writing. That is what NaNo teaches you because the biggest obstacle to being an author, even for those who have already published several dozen books, is the fear of the blank page.

Don’t subdue yourself to that fear. There is nothing you have to fear except fear itself. Remember: Just keep on writing.

And then, after a month of writing 1667 words a day, you can proclaim yourself a winner of NaNoWriMo and get a nice certificate.

So get down on your desk, flex your fingers and just keep on writing!

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yup - I wrote my first novel at NaNoWriMo ) LOVED the experience