The National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo, starts today!
For those of you unfamiliar with it, NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write 50 thousand words in the 30 days of November. It is actually a lot more than just the challenge now, but this is the main thing. You can learn more about their amazing projects and resources by visiting their website!
I’ve been a participant since 2014 — the year I discovered it. It’s where Welcome to New York was born. Even though its final version ended up having 140+ thousand words, I never wrote the 50 thousand in one month. But the important thing (as you will find out if you visit the website and learn about the project) is TRYING! And let me tell you, trying with the support of this amazing community makes it a lot easier!
Here’s a list of fellow authors you’ll be joining if you decide to participate:
I started WtNY in 2014, gave up, and restarted in 2015. As I said, I didn’t ‘win’ the challenge, but I would have never finished it if it wasn’t for the challenge.
Last year, I wrote a good chunk of Once In A Lifetime during NaNoWriMo. Again, I didn’t reach the 50 thousand words. Now, I’m well over 70 thousand.
She already had two published books at that point, and took on the challenge with a bit of skepticism. In the end, what she found great about it was how the formation of a daily writing habit gave her the freedom to stop second-guessing herself — something we’re all guilty of doing.
According to her, the point of NaNoWriMo is to discover a story that can be excavated and polished over months or years afterwards — until all that is left is a gem of a novel.
Like me (and maybe most of the participants), she didn’t ‘win’ the challenge in the year she drafted this book, but she still accumulated 40 thousand words.
As she said in an interview, “Those were 40 thousand words I did not have before.”
Today I’m here to encourage you — yes, YOU — to give it a go. One of NaNoWriMo’s mottos is that everyone has a novel in them, and I firmly believe it. Writing can be such a magical way of exploring your mind, expressing yourself, pouring out your heart, dealing with your feelings. It doesn’t matter whether it eventually becomes a published work or remains a forgotten file in the depths of your hard-drive: write it. I’m absolutely certain you won’t regret it!
This year, since I’m already pretty much finished with the first draft of book #2, I’ll be using the NaNoWriMo mojo towards the translation of WtNY into Portuguese. I don’t know if you know it, but I’m Brazilian. I work with technical translation, and after years of dealing with that specific language, I started to feel it was harming my creative abilities. WtNY was meant to be an exercise of my writing skills. I never thought it would become a full-length, published novel. That’s why I say: maybe you have it in you, too, and just don’t know it yet. Give it a try!
Let me know if you decide to participate! I’d love to hear about your story and cheer you on your journey.
» Don’t forget to check out NaNoWriMo‘s website! And let me know if you decide to write 😉
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