Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? It stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it happens each year in November. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel, or the first 50,000 words of a longer novel, in just one month. (Why they picked November, a 30-day month with a long holiday weekend, is beyond me.)
The idea intrigues me, but since I’m not a novelist, I’ve never tried it. Some year I will.
Despite never participating in NaNoWriMo and not being a novelist, I think I understand the allure. As I mentioned last week, I’m on my own writing quest; 85,000 words in ten weeks. Two weeks into it, I’m exhilarated with my writing. I’m sure the same feeling often hits NaNoWriMo writers.
Writing a large number of words every day, without fail or excuse, requires discipline. It means grabbing every moment of my allotted time to write. Distractions are not permitted. Email and social media are off-limits. My wife gives me quiet.
It also requires focus. Keeping my eye on the goal, I write with intention. With laser precision, I type words to make sentences to form paragraphs for the various sections. Chapters birth with regularity.
My ballooning word count electrifies me. I want to write more. Even when it’s time to go to work, I wish I could keep writing.
It’s also stressful, but a good type of stress, productive, fulfilling stress.
Though I fully expect my pace to wear thin as my quest continues, knowing the prize waiting for me at the end of the road will spur me on. A finished book looms as my reward.
I suspect the same thing occurs for each NaNoWriMo writer.
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Peter Lyle DeHaan is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.
4 replies on “Can You Write a Book in a Month?”
Isn’t there a big prize for the winner? Intriguing, but this year I’m too busy with other commitments, maybe next year.
Over two years ago I had never heard of NaNoWriMo. But then I heard about, came up with an idea, and two years later, I have two books in a trilogy and I’m anticipating writing the third book this November. Love it! Everything else gets put aside while I focus on writing. Wish it were NaNoWriMo every month! 🙂 But I probably couldn’t keep up the pace. Everyone who completes 50,000 words is considered a winner and gets prizes. The big prize comes from the feeling of accomplishment.
Noreen, a big prize does sound familiar.
(But writing 50,000 words in a month would be reward enough for me.)
Patricia, that is wonderful! What are the names of your first two books?