Not everyone is a writer—but almost everyone’s thought about writing a book and most of us have at least one story worth telling. A lot of people talk about it—”one day I’ll write a book”—but few ever actually try to write a novel.
Nanowrimo (http://nanowrimo.org) is an annual challenge designed to get people to stop talking and start writing. The challenge to write 50, 000 words of fiction in the month of November is an exciting way to force yourself to write the novel you’ve always thought about. It’s a worthwhile challenge for anyone who’s ever considered writing—take it from me, a seven-time winner.
Why is it worthwhile to try to write a novel? There are several reasons. It helps you escape the drudgery of your every day life, gets you in touch with your creative side and is a wonderful learning experience. In one month of 50, 000 words and little sleep, you’ll discover things about yourself you’d never find out otherwise.
Trying to write a novel in a month gives you a deadline, forcing you to stay on track. Along the way you’ll discover whether or not you actually have a book in you, whether or not you can self-discipline to complete a project entirely on your own, and what happens when you deprive yourself of sleep for an entire month.
If you don’t make it to 50,000 words by the 30th, you’ll still be a winner. You attempted something that not many people are brave enough for, and you’ll have written more than you would have otherwise. You’ll have the beginnings of a draft which you can finish throughout the rest of the year—and next time, maybe you’ll succeed at writing that book in a month.
If you actually make it to 50,000 words on or before November 30th, you’ll have a (hopefully) completed novel. You’ll have learned that you do have a book in you, and you’ll have accomplished something in a month that most people never do in their entire lives. Along with the satisfaction of knowing you can do it and the sense of accomplishment, you’ll get congratulations from the community and a winner’s certificate saying that you are a novelist.
So this November, or maybe next November, try your hand at writing a novel. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and about writing, and who knows, someday you might even turn your Nanowrimo draft into a published novel and be able to call yourself an author.
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