I wrote previously that one of my 30 Before 30 list items is to “win” NaNoWriMo. It’s described as “Thirty days and nights of literary abandon” which was probably all I needed to read to be hooked by the idea. I’ve signed up and am now one of the Wrimos.
NaNoWriMo is a creative challenge: write a 50,000 word novel from scratch in the month of November. Anyone who meets the word limit is considered a “winner”. The idea is to force participants to churn out content – quantity over quality – and not get caught up in editing or over-thinking whether it’s any good. Quite simply: it won’t be. It’ll be absolute rubbish. But by the end of it, participants will actually be novellists! They can worry about editing afterwards.
This November is my first and last chance to win NaNoWriMo before my 30th birthday. I’ve heard that very few first-time NaNoWriMo participants make the winners list. In fact, it seems to be low numbers overall: in 2010, only about 19% of participants met the 50,000 word goal. It’s going to be tough but I’m feeling pretty confident about winning. I’ve had a plot forming in my head for several months now and I seem to be churn out 500+ word blog posts without too much trouble.
Really, when I add my daily blogs, emails, comments, tweets and other social media posts together, I’m sure I average the 1600-odd words required daily to meet the target 50,000 in 30 days 🙂
Plus, this is going to be fun! Melbourne seems to have a good NaNoWriMo culture – the endless cafés probably help – and I know a few bookshops (including Of Science and Swords run by my friend Avi) that will be holding NaNoWriMo events. I’m looking forward to spending sunny November afternoons in Melbourne’s laneways typing away.
I’m going in prepared though. I’ll be spending the next day or two writing down the plot outline I have floating around in my head, and perhaps I’ll get a basic timeline down too. I’ll need to do a bit of research for a few plot points and I think that my storyline will be able to accommodate a few side stories, so if I need to top up my word count, I should have plot outlines for the side stories ready too. Overall, though, I’m feeling good about NaNoWriMo.
You know, before I decided that I would study and work in IT, I thought about journalism as a career. I’m glad I didn’t go ahead with it, especially now that I can see the state of both journalism and IT today. IT is a career that lets you be creative (including writing) but I still appreciate events like NaNoWriMo. It will be concentrated creativity: intense, caffeine-fuelled, sleep-deprived, inspired and potentially euphoric.
Literary abandon indeed.