Dreaming of writing a novel one day? Already have the perfect storyline mapped out? Now is the perfect time to start. From November 1-30, you can join a couple of hundred thousand fellow aspiring novelists around the world for 30 days and nights of literary abandonment under the guise of NaNoWriMo, an annual creative writing project.
The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight November 30. Because of the limited writing window, organisers say the only thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. They readily point out that you will be writing a lot of crap. It’s all about quantity, not quality and this approach is intended to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
At the end of day two, there are already 172,000 writers signed up, including 669 in China, and almost 200 million words collectively written!
There’s no fee to participate and no official prizes awarded; anyone who reaches the 50,000 word mark is declared a winner.
Inspired by the sights, sounds and smells of Beijing, I’ve signed up for the challenge, albeit a couple of days after the start of the month. Not to worry; my daily target of 1,667 words has only increased to 1,786 words (gulp), which I’m sure is entirely achievable while juggling the demands of life, love and three children in between.
If you’re curious about what 50,000 words looks like, think The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Brave New World or The Great Gatsby.
See you at the finishing line.