Thursday, November 8, 2018

A NaNoWriMo Adventure

A NaNoWriMo Adventure

Christina Weigand

Earlier this week Tricia talked about signing up to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Today I want to talk to you about the experience. I have participated in NaNo for seventeen years. Some years I have achieved 50,000 words and others I haven’t. For a couple of years, while I lived in Washington State I was a municipal liaison in partnership with two other writers, one of whom is still my best writing buddy. Three of the books I’ve written during NaNo have gone on to be published. So what keeps me coming back? Why put myself through this torture once a year?

The first year I did it, 2001, I was a newbie writer, and I did this just for fun to see if I could do it. I didn’t reach 50,000 words, and in fact didn’t accomplish that until 2008, but I was hooked. Some years, especially when I lived in Washington, I was very focused and that is the period of time when I wrote: Palace of the Twelve Pillars (2008), Palace of the Three Crosses (2009) and Sanctuary of Nine Dragons (2010). Keep in mind those three books did not come out of NaNo ready to be published. I think that’s where the beauty of NaNo; you give yourself freedom to write the first draft, which by its nature is not supposed to be the best or final product.

Some other things that make the experience worthwhile: The companionship you receive from writers from around the world and in in your local community; putting away your inner editor and just writing and an organized group that promotes, supports and guides the writer.

I’m sure NaNo is not for everyone, but for me, I will keep doing it; maybe. There are years including this one that I have contemplated not doing it or didn’t have a specific project in mind. But somehow someone manages to convince me to take the leap and do it once again.

I may not have convinced anyone to do this, but that really wasn’t the goal. For me NaNo has been a fulfilling experience. There have been times that I have been in that zone, you writers know what I am talking about, where the words come faster than I can get them on paper. There have been times when I’ve felt as if I would never write a good word again. In those times the friends I have made find a way to talk me out of the slump.

So once again I took the plunge and will spend the next month writing or in my case rewriting. I went to the NaNo website today and saw my total NaNo word count for the seventeen years I have participated. It is 287,716, a lot of words but well worth the effort.
Now onto NaNo, to hopefully add another 50,000 words. I’ll see you on the fifteenth and give you an update on my progress.

If you are interested it's never too late to start. Here is the link to sign up or just check it out here: NaNo
If you know of a young writer or are a teacher that wants her class to participate in NaNo there is a Young Writers NaNo here:  Young writers

For more info on NaNoWriMo you can check out Tricia's post  here.

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