Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lock the doors, unplug that TV, it's NaNoWriMo!

Today is the day, noble scribes. . . it begins!

Now in it's 13th year, The National Novel Writing Month is a tough as nails challenge, a grueling marathon, and if you complete it, a success worthy of writing books about. Oh, wait, that's the whole idea, isn't it?

Indeed. In a nutshell, NaNoWriMo is a month-long kick in the pants, encouraging budding novelists to commit themselves to beginning (from scratch), and finishing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Feh. . . you kids got it easy this year; if I remember right, wasn't last year's goal 60,000 words? But, I may still be living in a fantasy. . . Still, for those of you who are better with letters than you are with numbers, let me break this year's goal down for you: to reach 50k words in the month of November, you'll need to pump out 1,666 words a day, every day. I couldn't do it, but last year some 37,500 folks did - just look at how this movement has exploded:

Annual participant/winner totals

: 21 participants and six winners

2000: 140 participants and 29 winners

2001: 5000 participants and more than 700 winners

2002: 13,500 participants and around 2,100 winners

2003: 25,500 participants and about 3,500 winners

2004: 42,000 participants and just shy of 6,000 winners

2005: 59,000 participants and 9,769 winners

2006: 79,813 participants and 12,948 winners

2007: 101,510 participants and 15,333 winners

2008: 119,301participants and 21,683 winners

2009: 167,150 participants and 32,178 winners

2010: 200,500 participants and 37, 500 winners

So good luck to all of you who accept this grand challenge - I'm in! Just remember, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. This approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly. In other words, Just Write It!

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