July 15, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2008

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) takes place every November around the world. According to the web site, it is "a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30."

Armed with only a vague outline in my mind, I set out to write a first draft of On the Bridge. It turned out I could write much more than I expected, even though I had to fight with my inner editor on a daily basis. With 30 days, a full-time job, family, Thanksgiving, report cards to write, and other assorted tasks, I managed to carve out time to research and cobble together a skeleton of a first draft. By November 30, I had written around 45,000 words.

One important thing I learned from NaNo is the importance of community and having others around to provide encouragement. A motivating e-mail or a glance at others' word count widgets helped to propel me toward the goal of 50k. While I didn't "win" NaNo '08, I am significantly closer to my goal of writing a novel than I was when took the challenge.

Whatever task you may be struggling to complete (or even begin), know that when we bring others alongside us to spur us on, we are motiviated to finish and finish well. Encouragement and accountability create the foundation for success.

1 comment:

Joanne Sher said...

Amen!! SOOOO true. And that's why I blog about my writing journey :D Maybe I'll try NaNo this year. MAYBE