No, this isn’t the word a young Robin Williams spewed from the late ’70’s television show “Mork and Mindy.” It’s not an acronym either, but a shorten, albeit slurred word for National Novel Writing Month. According to their own Wikiwrimo, the NaNoWriMo is in its ninth year. There are 10 days and counting down before NNWM.
Why NNWM? “To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.”
Rules are fairly simple: Start your novel at or after 12:01 a.m. your local time and write 50,000 words by midnight on November 30. Any genre eligible. Write on your own computer, IPAD, laptop, etc. but upload to NNWM site between November 25 and November 30 by 11:59 p.m.
Prizes? “Every year, there are many, many winners. There are no “Best Novel” or “Quickest-Written Novel” awards given out. All winners will get an official “Winner” web badge and a PDF Winner’s Certificate.” This writing isn’t about prizes, it’s about setting a goal and sticking to it.
NNWM has a nice dashboard where assistance abounds. You can snag a badge for your blog, get a word counter, participate in forums, ask questions, and find writing ‘buddies.’
What captured my attention is the enthusiam for writing in a disciplined manner, not necessarily grammatically correct or publishable, but writing to create setting, characters, plot, and story. All the good stuff we like to create.
To put out 50,000 words in 30 days means you write about 1,600 words a day or 5 to 6 pages per day, every day. My own challenge is to write 50,000 words in 25 days or 8 pages a day. Yeah, I know it’s a huge task, especially when I don’t have a clue what I’ll write about.
What energizes me is that I can practice writing without self editing. That was my downfall with my first manuscript which took two years. The timeline was much better with the second MS, where I followed the “Novel in a Month,” to get down a draft and then spent six more months rewriting and revising.
I’m jazzed that I won’t have to show this to anyone, not a critique group or writer’s club, not to friends. There will be no one except me and the keyboard for awhile. It’s liberating. No self push to produce 5-10 pages for my weekend class. No ‘what will they think of this,’ no angst in selecting the ‘right’ word, or dialogue.
My goal is to write without self editing, self criticizing, self( fill in the blank with a negative word). I don’t want to obsess about what I’m typing, I want to create and to pull a Nike: just do it! Because when I learn how to do that, I’ll become more joyful in the creation. It’s like the saying ‘dance like nobody is watching,’ like singing in the shower, like having a few and grabbing for the Karaoke microphone.
The dancing girl has been my avatar for a couple of years. She’s my alter ego and she’ll be displayed on my personal dashboard for the NNWM challenge. As you can tell, she’s dancing like nobody’s business, lost in the music.
Maybe I’ll be embarrassed when I read my NNWM novel on the 25th or 30th day, maybe not, who cares? I’ll have completed the challenge and hopefully learned something in the process. One more axiom: It’s in the journey, not the destination.
Now I have to find a topic and I hope it hits me before I start handing out Halloween candy.