GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ National Novel Writing Month | I Smell Sheep

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Monday, October 25, 2010

National Novel Writing Month

We're all avid readers here. This is true. Without writing though, what would we be reading? I'd like to take a moment to talk about National Novel Writing Month.

National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, is an free annual event hosted by a non-profit called The Office of Letters and Light. The point of the event is, as the name suggests, to write a novel (well.. 50,000 words of one anyhow) in a month; specifically the month of November. Now I know what you are all thinking (you actual authors not withstanding, of course): I'm not a writer... I can't possibly write a novel... especially if I only have a month! Well, let me assure you oh weary readers that it's totally possible! Let me share my story with you...

Since I can remember, I've had this itch to write... but I could not for the life of me put together anything longer than say, 10 pages. I thought for sure that whatever gene there was that allowed people to grow 300+ page novels from their soul, I surely lacked it. Last year, though, I became a WriMo (one who participates in NaNoWriMo) and was determined to at least write something. I ended up hitting my 50,000 word quota almost a week early!

Now, I'm not saying that when you sign up, you'll suddenly be magically endowed with the ability to spew forth great stories and colorful plot devices. No.. To be successful, you have to understand that writing your first 50,000 is a journey. You'll learn a lot about yourself, how you think, and more importantly, how you write. Like any self discovery, it takes a great deal of courage and more than a bit of frustration. You'll be surprised by what you inflict on your characters and they may even surprise you with how they react. You'll start off writing a romance and end up with a murder mystery. One thing for sure though, at the end... even if you wrote 20 words... if you really put forth an honest effort, you'll feel great.

One of the more important things that I learned during my first 50,000 words was ... i learned to let go. Normally, when I have an idea that I need to write down, I'll agonize over the details... or the wording... or some asinine thing. If you try to write a novel with that hindering you? You'll never finish. Have you ever heard the term "Writing is all about revision"? That statement is more true than you know... and to hammer home the point, I'll share with you my 50,000 words from last year. It's completely unedited which sort of terrifies me, but I wanted to show you exactly what I meant by letting go.

The Misadventures of Frank the Evil Wizard

For those of you who decide to partake in the "30 days and nights of literary abandon", here's my profile... add me! let's work together! For those of you who are not going to participate, please consider a donation to one of the many Office of Letters and Light causes! Help spread writing to everyone!

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