Monday Muse: NaNo Fever!

Well, now that we’ve discussed the importance of really, really awful first drafts, and thanks to Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die, you’ve learned how freeing it is to write without taking breaks to think, it is time for the ultimate “just get it on the page” challenge: the madness that is NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo (or just NaNo if you’re good friends), is the craziest yet most productive tool I’ve ever forced into my dear muse, Bridget’s, dirty little fists. NaNoWriMo will get you well on your way to a finished book, if you don’t die of exhaustion, hysteria, or caffeine overdose before that.

The Office of Letters and Light, an online organization, has declared the month of November to be National Novel Writing Month, complete with a nifty website, lots of social networking, and official emblems you can download and stick on things. But what, you may ask, does it all mean?

It means, dear ones, that you write a novel in a month. Yes, I’m serious. And it can be done. I’ve done the NaNo Challenge the last two years. I didn’t make goal in 2009, though I got 30K closer to “the end” than I would have without trying it. In 2010, I did make goal, but it involved long soliloquys where my heroine quoted pop song lyrics. (Fortunately edited out beginning December 1!) My 2010 NaNo project actually got some good results in a contest and is currently on full to an editor. (Fingers crossed!)

All you have to do is get 50,000 words on the page between November 1 and November 30. That’s just over 1600 words per day. With enough determination, a lot of coffee, and the support of other NaNoers, you can do it. Just forget about having a life in November. Christmas shopping is more fun after Thanksgiving, anyway. And if you have, as I did, a lot of really awful stuff written as December rolls around, that’s why God invented the editing process.

IF you’re interested, check out the official website at I’m signed up as “arabellastokes” and I’m in the North Florida and South Alabama regions. Give me a shout out and lets share lots of virtual espresso as we build the wordcount!

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