It’s November, and while I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo, I have in the past and I have friends who are doing it.
At a basic level, NaNo is a 30-day writing challenge, in a similar vein to the month-long personal development projects (PDPs) that are encouraged by Praxis. You spend a month focusing as much time and energy as possible on one goal, one endeavor. At the end, if you’ve spent time each day working toward the goal, you win.
If you don’t write 50k words in November, it doesn’t matter. That’s not the real purpose. If you do, congratulations.
You really win by forming a writing habit and spending focused time working towards a goal, in this case to write a novel, for 30 straight days.
You can make your own rules.
You can set a challenging but obtainable word count goal for yourself. Maybe 50k is too much but you can handle 15 or 20 or even 30k words. Don’t aim so high that you’ll be guaranteed to burn out.
You don’t have to write fiction. You could write poems, blog posts, a non-fiction book, a series of essays. Whatever genre or type of writing you want.
If you really want to, you could decide to do an entirely different month-long project. In fact, I’d encourage you to do some kind of month-long project, NaNo or otherwise.
I’m not doing NaNo, but I am doing a PDP. For the whole month of November, I will be marketing my poetry collection, posting on social media, interacting with people, and creating blog posts and videos about self-publishing.
That’s my project this month.
Tell me about yours in the comments below!