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By the title of this post, you are thinking that I have lost my mind. Or I have a couple too many last night.  Either way, neither one of these scenarios is true. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Really? There is a national novel writing month? Until two days ago, I did not know either. So I checked out their website – NaNoWriMo.org – and this is what I found.


November is National Novel Writing Month. It is a challenge for authors to spend the month of November writing a 50,000 word novel. You set up a profile on the website, enter the name of your book, and psyche yourself up for the challenge. They have discussion forums for every aspect of this challenge including your own 10 commandments for the month of November. You can update your word count either daily or weekly. They also have a word count validator to get your ‘official’ word count.


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I have signed up to accept this challenge. And this will be a challenge for me as I will have to completely change the way I write.  When I write, I constantly re-read, re-write, delete, and rearrange as I go. By the time that I am done with the first draft, it has been edited several times. For this challenge, I will not have the luxury of self-editing as I go. She will be sent on vacation for the month. I will have to learn not to read what I wrote yesterday or even an hour ago. I will not have the luxury of spending 15 minutes looking for just the right word.  Those things will have to wait until December.


The website plans, with the help of local volunteers, what they call “Come Write In’s” They are local events where authors can get together to exchange ideas, offer support, and enjoy the comaradarie of others who have also accepted this challenge. At least that is what it says on the website, I will let you know next month after attending a Kick-Off Party on November 1 in my area.


I am really looking forward to this challenge, to the discipline that will be required to complete the challenge. I have set lofty goals for myself but I lacked the self-discipline to follow through. This will give me accountability for my actions.  Although there are no physical or financial consequences if I fail to complete this challenge, the embarrassment of knowing thousands of people will know I have failed is not an option.


The story that I am going to write during this challenge next month is tentatively called “Love’s Journey.” Of course, it is a romance novel. I have a basic outline for this novel but will fine tune some details this month to ensure that I have plenty of material to work with next month.


Have you ever accepted this challenge or a similar challenge as this? What was it like for you? Please leave a comment. I would love to hear about your experiences.