November 1st-30th–National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo to those in the know)–is when the entire world considers becoming a writer. Words pour from pens like ants to an abandoned picnic with the goal of finishing a novel in a month. People stop going to movies, watching TV, making dinner, visiting social media–all in the name of literary passion.
In 2017 (according to the NaNoWriMo website): 402,142 participated including 95,912 students and educators in the Young Writers Program. Tens of thousands were winners defined in the rules as writing over 50,000 words. In any time but November, a novel would take from one to ten years to complete (twenty-two for me), exhaust the writer and infuriate those close to them who don’t understand how sitting in a hard chair, talking to fictitious people, can be so gal-darn fascinating.
I did strongly consider doing NaNoWriMo last year but 1) I was in the middle of editing, and 2) I don’t like starting a new novel until I finish the prior one. This year, I think I’m in the right place:
- I should be finished with my outline by the end of October.
- I like tracking my progress by adding about five pages a day (which is about the right amount for NaNoWriMo–a little lite).
- I am not sure how to write the final book in a trilogy so I’m ready to try something outside my usual structured box.
So, I signed up, ran through the prep material, sharpened my pencils (OK, I didn’t do that but I did charge my keyboard) and I’m ready! I write a lot every day so I actually don’t expect this to affect my current schedule much, just focus it more.
More on NaNoWriMo
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, In the Footsteps of Giants, Winter 2021. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning