Time to sign up for Nanowrimo

If you’re like me then you’ve been waiting patiently to sign up for Nanowrimo 2011. That day has finally come. This morning I signed up for this year’s month of novel-writing madness. Hopefully, this year work won’t prevent me from reaching my goal.

Whenever I mention to anyone that I am in the midst of Nanowrimo, their response is usually either “why?” or “what is it?” So for the uninitiated, Nanowrimo stands for National Novel-writing Month–it’s a misnomer these days now that it’s spread across the globe but that’s another story. The goal of Nanowrimo is to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. You start on November 1 and you must finish on the last day of the motnh. You don’t win any money if you manage to finish Nanowrimo. You don’t even get any shiny prizes. What you get is the camaraderie of thousands of other people around the world (and you can get to know them on the Nanowrimo forum) who are all doing the same thing. You can even attend Nanowrimo get-togethers where you meet people from your region who are all aspiring writers and who use Nanowrimo as a necessary kick-in-the-butt to get them writing everyday or to help them start and finish a first draft. Some of those people are unpublished, others have a few published books under their belt. It’s one giant writing community and it welcomes everyone.

Now if you don’t finish on time, there’s no shame. I finished my first Nanowrimo novel a day late. Why? Because of work. My other Nanowrimo novels were finished well after the 30 November deadline. Sometimes it was work that kept me; other times it was traveling home for Thanksgiving that knocked me off course. One thing is certain: I need Nanowrimo to keep me focused. I am a fits-and-spurts writer who needs deadlines and Nanowrimo gives me the ultimate deadline. In order to stay on target, I need to write 1667 words a day. Sometimes I write more. Other days I fall behind. But I always try to get to 1667.

So if you don’t hear from me during the month of November or if I don’t answer my phone, you know I haven’t vanished into thin air. I will be in front of my computer, working on my Nanowrimo 2011 novel, which will have the working title Snowbound.

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