NaNoWriMo – Only The Insane Need Apply

It’s only the 4th of November, and already, NaNoWriMo has consumed my life.

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is an event thought up by Chris Baty in 1999. It takes place from the 1st to the 30th of November. Out of the huge amount of participants (number in total), three out of six TBO writers (myself, fightclubsandwich and ninthandash) are taking up the challenge this year, and we’re already finding it difficult to hit the daily average word count.

You might be thinking “Wait, word count? What does that mean?” It means that you have to complete a 50,000 word novel (although they never frown upon more) in thirty days.

And now you see why we’re crazy.

In order to hit the goal, you have to write 1667 words a day. It’s not impossible, and I’ve been hitting that target or beating it over the last couple of days. In fact, in order to catch up, I wrote over 3000 words yesterday. But, this took me around two to three hours when I was meant to be doing a history essay. I stayed glued to my pen and paper instead of talking to my friends during lunch time. I know that during the course of this month, I will be staying up late into the night in order to catch up. The novel doesn’t have to be perfect, which is something that many NaNo writers stress about. After all, you can call NaNoWriMo the first draft. You’ve then got time to perfect it and turn it into that best seller. In fact, many NaNo writers have used their NaNo novels and become best sellers in America.

So, all of the stress and tears and self-deprecation for what? The gratification of knowing that you’ve written a novel. The feeling of completing something on such a massive scale in such a short time span is incredible. I’ve written a novel once before, but over the course of around a year. I couldn’t believe how I had managed to put so much effort, sleepless nights and cups of coffee into a piece of work. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be exactly the same with NaNoWriMo. Except with a few more cups of coffee and sleepless nights.

We all have our vices. Mine aren’t sex, drugs and rock and roll, they’re video games, caffeine and literature. So for the next thirty days, goodbye, free time and hello, unpredictable characters, a faulty plot and overstyled dialogue. I can tell I’m going to love every minute of it.

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