Ask almost anyone if they've ever dreamed of writing a novel. Chances are they'll say yes. Since my first book was released in 2004, I lost count of the would-be writers who tell me they always wanted to write a novel. They either don't know where to start, haven't made the time, or just haven't gotten around to it. Yet their story burns within them.
A man once told me he had a story idea rattling around in his head for twenty years. After he explained his idea in a sentence or two I asked how much more he had. He looked a little sheepish and said, "That's all I got."
NaNoWriMo--National Novel Writing Month--is designed to get those ideas out of your head and onto the page. Best part; it only takes 30 days.
Every November writers around the world sign up for the challenge to write the story on their hearts in 30 days. No editing, no second guessing, no whining to your mother that no one understands your genius. Just sitting in a chair and pounding out the words.
Word count is key at NaNoWriMo. Sometimes the hardest part of writing is getting past one's own doubts in one's abilities. NaNoWriMo takes the pressure off. It doesn't matter if you never took a creative writing course, don't have a third grader's grasp of basic grammar, or have never written as much as an email. All that matters is getting that story from your head to the page. The exercise is quite freeing, whether newbie or multi-published, award winning author.
Last summer my husband gave me an idea for a romance novel. I immediately recognized the novel potential in his idea, but was too busy with other projects to do anything with it. I wrote a quick 8 page synopsis and quickly forgot about it. But every now and then, the idea would come back to haunt me. As November crept closer with no other projects clogging my roster I thought I'd give his idea the attention it deserved. Three days into November and I have written about 10,000 words. I don't know if it's any good yet. That's not the point. I can worry about that in December. All that matters for one beautiful Autumn month is getting the words into my hard drive.
It isn't too late to sign up. Check out the website. Or do the challenge on your own, though I gotta tell you there's something to be said about accountability. How can you go wrong with a million other writers nagging and prodding and cheering you on?
Happy writing. I'll be back later in the month with an update on my progress. If you're part of the NaNoWriMo challenge, look me up and become my writing buddy. My username is teresaslack. If not, post your word count here. We can celebrate NaNoWriMo together.