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The Great Frantic Novel
There's nothing like staring down a blank page to make you think, 'I'm never going to write the great American novel.' But the folks over at NaNoWriMo are here to tell you: Put that anxiety away, shove that writer's block under a chair and just write.
Every year, people around the world sit down on November 1 with the goal of constructing a 50,000-word (175-page) novel by midnight on November 30. Sure, writing a novel sounds intimidating, but the short timeline is designed to get you to set aside your fears. Focus on quantity over quality and get those words onto the page.
What's the advantage of emphasizing output over craft? When you forgo painstaking editing and worrying over details, you experiment, take risks and find that there really are 50,000 words inside you waiting to get out. As the NaNoWriMo organizers put it:
'Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.'
Luckily, you don't have to do it alone. At NaNoWriMo.org you'll find all the support you need. Set up a writer profile, track your word count and share your joys and frustrations with other writers on the forums.
Many participants, known as 'wrimos,' also organize meet-ups throughout the month to cheer one another on - and to celebrate on December 1.
Wrimos who use the website can upload their novels for verification by midnight (local time) on November 30. Those who cross the 50,000 word line will be added to the Winner's Page and receive a certificate and a badge commemorating the experience. But as the organizers remind you: 'Win or lose, you rock for even trying.'
So, ready, set… Write!
Need some inspiration? Don't miss our interview with professional writer, Scott Driscoll!