It’s almost October. You know what that means.
We’re stepping into the holiday season. Halloween is almost here and we still shake from the rise of the Pumpkin King in the U.S., but fear not…we all know he’s an asshat.
It’s almost time for turkey and the celebration of the Native American genocide. Where we all gather together and talk awkwardly once a year. There’s hella good food, though, so it’s totally worth it. For those without fam, I’m pretty sure some of the dive joints will be open. That’s where you meet the best people and find the most magick.
Let’s not forget the holy shit season of Christmas with all its religious fuckery. Let’s not forget the debt as well. To both our souls and our bank account.
As a writer and human, November is a good month.
Number one, there are people I love that were born in November. Also, food. Also, NaNoWriMo.
I’m glad you asked.
NaNoWriMo, or NaNo as it’s casually referred, is National Novel Writing Month. It spans from Nov.1 – Nov. 30th every year. You try to write a novel of 50,000 words in one month. It’s fantastic and you should totally try it if you’re an aspiring writer. Here’s why:
1. It gets you writing.
A lot of beginners aspire to write a lot. Truth is they constantly find themselves in a struggle if they don’t just learn to take the time to write. I don’t really believe in the whole “you have to write every day to be a writer” mentality. You will write every day if you’re a real writer, though. Whatever route you take, this is a good way to get off the procrastination train.
2. It’s fun.
If you get bored of NaNo after a few days, that’s cool. You’d be amazed at what you can produce in the short span of a month if you really drive yourself to do something, though. No matter what, you’ll probably have a little pride at the end of what you’ve accomplished. You should then rid yourself of ego because you don’t want to be karmically unbalanced and shit, yo.
3. You don’t need a plan.
Just write. That’s all you need to do to participate. Don’t have a plot? No problem. Write down 50,000 words of world building. Write down character lists. List your thoughts on the plot. Use it as a springboard to do one thing for the month of November — write.
4. There’s a fantastic support system.
If you check out the NaNo forums, you’ll find a ton of people who are attempting to slap the keyboard with their meat fingers for a solid month just like you. You can get tips, writing prompts, support for ideas, and sponsored stuff to help you in your quest to become the next big author on the block.
How do I NaNo?
Just sign up on their site. If you want, you can find my profile here or just look up joseph_forrest. Add me as a writing buddy and I’ll randomly insult you most likely. It might be mildly humorous. You may cry. I’m not sure. Here are some Nano Tips though:
- Don’t Quit. I know life can get in the way and you can get behind and you know you may never hit the goal. A goal is just an arbitrary number. The purpose is to put words down into some sort of coherent sense.
- If you have time to play catch up, take advantage of it. You want to be able to say you did something like this. “I wrote a novel last month.” Wouldn’t that be cool to say to people at a party or funeral?
- If write-ins are available in your area, go to them. Add writing buddies through the website. The friends you can gain alone are worth it.
- Use all the tools at NaNoWriMo.org to keep your word count up to date and see what others are doing. It’s very encouraging.
- Get into a routine if at all possible. Write first thing in the morning after you eat a scone and void your bowels. Whatever works for you, man. I don’t want to know what it is but routines help immensely.
- Again, don’t worry about what you’re writing so much as putting the words down. Look for prompts. They can be helpful.
- Always remember to pat yourself on the back when you reach a certain benchmark. I have mini-celebrations every week.
- Don’t edit your stuff now. Edit it in January after the hangover is gone.
- Don’t forget to exercise. Go take a walk. Stop eating so many Cheetos.
- Don’t give up. The last rule is as important as the first. There will be some hard, or even impossible, days and if you don’t make the number then you don’t. It’s really not a big deal. We will still love you and would gladly serve you up as a living sacrifice.
Let’s do this!
Time to stop just reading about writing and write. The whole month of October I’ll be focusing on NaNo and how you break through to getting to 50K. Be on the lookout for fresh new Writer’s Corner articles over the course of the month. I’ll hopefully have a few surprises as well. Stay tuned word nerds.