As many of you may or may not know, November is NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words, roughly the average length of a novel, by the end of November. Writers have 30 days to produce a novel (or short story collection, or whatever, as long as it hits the word count).
I’ve blogged about my NaNoWriMo attempt before and just to clear the air: No, I am not participating this year.
Well, grad school, for one. Welcome to my month of final exams and lengthy projects and papers.
Second, I have mixed feelings about NaNoWriMo this year. Maybe because I’m slightly pessimistic now that I’ve been studying about publishing, mainly epublishing, and how difficult it is to find quality writing from all the “crap” that’s out there (especially with self-pubs). I know I’m going to get a lot of crap for saying that, but I’m partially reiterating my professors’ comments and partially my own beliefs. I’m sure there are quality self-pubs out there (please, don’t throw 50 Shades in my face), but you have to do some serious searching to find it.
I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m nervous as to how many writers participate in NaNoWriMo with the hopes of becoming the next big thing, like Erin Morgenstern with A Night Circus, and how many others are participating it for the joy of writing and the sense of accomplishment at the end of the month. NaNoWriMo could be the boost of a writing career, definitely, however, that shouldn’t be the main goal, which is where I think many will, sadly, fail or fall short.
Do what you will, writers. But don’t let greed and high expectations deter you from completing a draft of your novel. Note: You will have to extensively edit after you’ve finished writing and who knows how many words of that 50,000 you’ll actually keep. Wait until March ( or NaNoEdMo: National Novel Editing Month) before you do any editing; let your manuscript and your brain rest a bit.
Instead of participating in NaNo this year (because I really just don’t have the time), I’ve decided to come up with my own goal: I have several posts currently pending waiting to be shared. Every week, I will post one or two so that I may start December 1st (my birthday!) with a clean slate.