If you are an aspiring novelist you already know what National Novel Writing Month or #NANOWRIMO is. It is a harrowing thirty day adventure where you try to craft a novel of 50,ooo words. Write a complete novel in a month? Who came up with such madness? No doubt it was a writer. Only people such as us can dream up such utter madness!
But here I am, drinking the Kool-Aid for a second straight year. I will be quick to admit that NaNoWriMo ate my lunch last year, as my first attempt ran out of gas at 29,000 odd words. But I learned a lot from the experience and armed with a solid outline I am back for more. I have also picked up some knowledge I want to impart in this blog post. Here are six things I have learned through Twitter.
- People want to share their ups and downs with others who will commiserate or celebrate. Let’s face it, if you don’t do this thing called novel writing you cannot hope to understand the strain it puts on a writer. You see we go into bookstores all the time and dream of seeing our name on the front of a book in that shelf. To get to that point however means a lot of days where our success is either invigorating or lack thereof is energy-sucking.
- Some people have more time to write than others and trying to keep pace with them is foolish! I read several Twitter posts each day and I knew within a few days I would begin to see fellow novelists boast of being half-way or futher in their 50K journey. But today, on November 4th, I saw someone celebrating their “win”. For those of you not in the madness a “win” is crossing the 50,000 word threshold. I said “SERIOUSLY”, what do you do for a living. many of us have full time jobs and cannot devote the kind of time it would take to write 50,000 words in 4 days.
- Being and encourager is desperately needed! As a Christian I have always tried to live within the bounds of something I know as the J.O.Y. Principle, which is explained as Jesus First, Others Second and Yourself Last. So I try my best to read through some Twitter posts, find one with a post that reflects the need for encouragement and have at it. I even began using this hashtag: #Encourageawriter. I hope I can enlist a legion of others to help me make it trend between now and the end of NaNoWriMo2016.
- There is no end to the NaNo Tips Posts. Thanks to all of you who are trying to help those of us still cutting our teeth in the business, but who has time to read all these and reach our desired daily word goal? Yes, I realize I am joining this group, but I wanted to share some insight for those interested in the topic but not doing the dance.
- Too many people sabotage themselves by trying to get it perfect the first time through. The idea is to get the first 50,000 words assembled within the 30 days of the month of November. No, they may not be part of the final 80,000 or so words when you submit to a publisher, but it is much easier to submit a finished work if you get it started. Editing comes later, not while you are in the midst of NaNoWriMo.So what if you claim the win on November 30th and find yourself on December 15th with a 41,000 word revised manuscript? At least you have created something!
- There are so many great writers out there! Everyone I have encountered both last year and this year are just like me, only wanting to enjoy the thrill of a publisher asking to publish our creation. Oh how we will celebrate that day! I am trying to collect a few friends to share my celebration with and who will want to celebrate their success with me.
I am sure there are more Twitter discoveries I will collect during this adventure, but for now this is what I will share. If you want to help me encourage use the hashtag I mentioned above. You may get a nice 140 character thank you note!