50,000 words in 30 days – the joys of doing NaNoWriMo

It’s almost that time of year again – National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, or NaNo for even shorter.

If you’re unfamiliar with NaNo – starting from midnight on 1 November and finishing at 11:59pm on 30 November, the objective is to write 50,000 words of prose in 30 days.

And the prize for completing NaNo? The satisfaction of writing 50,000 words of prose in 30 days.

Sound crazy? It is, indeed.

Sound pointless? It certainly is not.

True, there are much less daunting and stress-free ways to spend your November – but as I found when I completed NaNo for the first time in 2006 (and that is a story and a future blog-post in itself), writing 50,000 words of prose in 30 days is an incredible and fulfilling achievement.

Like all good challenges in life, NaNo compels you to take a flying leap out of your comfort zone, do what it takes to reach your objective, and discover new facets of yourself that can be applied to other parts of your life.

Completing NaNo for the first time in 2006 was a major milestone for me in several ways. Not only had I finally succeeded after three previous failed attempts, and not only would I grow as a writer in the years that followed, but other good fortune would also keep coming my way, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • making more friends
  • finding more enjoyable ways to spend my time
  • perhaps even getting hit on while I was writing one night in a restaurant
  • eventually meeting Chris Baty himself, the man behind NaNo

But they’re other stories for other times, and throughout November I’ll be posting about them here at Black and Blue Man. After all, I can’t spend all of my November just writing 50,000 words of prose.

If you’re intrigued about trying NaNo for the first time, head on over to the site and learn all about it – and if you’re an old NaNo-hand doing it again, all the best!

Until next time, stay well and take care 🙂

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About blackandblueman

Black and Blue Man lives in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
This entry was posted in Hope, Inspiration, Life Challenges, Life Strategies, My Story. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 50,000 words in 30 days – the joys of doing NaNoWriMo

  1. Kirk says:

    I’ve been working on a sci-fi novel for a few years. I took a couple years off to complete school, but I’m back at it again. However, I’m lucky if I can complete ten pages a week. By my math, I’d have to do thirty pages a week to make the cut.

    Sheesh…

    Also, to me, writing is a pretty lonely activity. How did you “make more friends” by doing this?

    • Thanks to NaNo, there’s several ways to increase your social circle through writing.

      First, there’s the site itself. The world is divided into Regions (usually based on cities) that have their own forums where you can talk online with other NaNo-folk in your area.

      Second, there are the write-ins, where throughout November you meet up with other NaNo-folk in person at someone’s home and/or a public place, and spend a few hours or so writing together. The writing can be straight-forward like everyone sitting there and writing, or friendly-competitive with games like Word War (where you compete to write the most amount of words within a certain time). Write-ins are great fun – I’ve attended some that had as many as 15 people there.

      Third, there are the NaNo writing-free social events like the Kick-Off Party (usually held a week before NaNo begins) and the Thank God It’s Over Party (usually held a week after NaNo finishes). At these, you simply party.

      Finally, there’s life beyond NaNo. Not only can you meet new people during November, but afterwards when you’ve been (re)bitten by the writing bug you and others will want to keep the momentum going until the next November. So, you keep on meeting to have write-ins, and/or just hang out.

      Most of the new friendships I’ve made since 2006 have been thanks to NaNo and Script Frenzy! (its companion event each April where you have to write 100 pages of scripted material in 30 days).

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