It’s November. That means:
1) We survived Beltane.
2) Temperatures here in southeast Texas are more likely to be pleasant than disgustingly hot and muggy. Even rains occasionally.
3) 287,709 people have registered on the NaNoWriMo website to “compete” in the write-a-novel contest.
So how does it work? To “win,” you have to complete a 50,000 word 1st draft of a novel, or write 50,000 words of a longer novel, during the month of November. If you write every day, that’s 1,700 words a day (I average that, but I don’t write every day).
And what do you get if you win? Why, you have the first draft of a novel! If you register on their site and then confirm that you completed your work, you can also get a certificate. But writing your own novel is the real prize.
The reasoning behind NaNoWriMo is that a lot of people never write the novel that they’ve always wanted to because their own internal editor tells them that what they’re writing isn’t any good. My own internal editor is a lot like that: when I’m writing material that isn’t good, it tells me, “Rusty, this is crap.” Those of you who know me know that the one thing I don’t have is a self-esteem problem. But for a lot of people, their internal editor keeps them from ever writing that book that they’ve always dreamed of.
At least two regular readers of this blog are participating in NaNoWriMo. Heather reported hitting 10,000 words on Tuesday, Nov 5–she’s on schedule! Bruce intended to write, although I haven’t heard from him–how’s it going, Bruce? Stella, are you indulging? Others?
It sort of boggles the mind, in a way. More than a quarter of a million people and busily working away without an internal editor. In 2010, that equated to more than 2.8 billion words. At the low cost of self-publishing, that could turn out to be a quarter million new books for $0.99, each written while expressly not paying attention to whether what you’re writing is good.
I’m just handing out a little shit in good fun. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (which I haven’t read but has been highly recommended to me) and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which spent time on the New York Times Best Seller list and is an absolutely brilliant novel, were both written during NaNoWriMo. That’s recommendation enough for me.