Thursday, October 22, 2009

Do You Nano?

National Novel Writing Month

As in National Novel Writing Month? Nanowrimo? Well, I do. I have since 2005, when I failed to make the goal of 50,000 words in a month. But each year since then I've managed to scribble enough words to win.

What do I win?

Well, satisfaction, I suppose. Knowing that I can sit my lazy tush down and write because I must. Normally I don't think writing 50,000 words or more is that important. After all, you write when you have something to say. But with Nano, you have a deadline - one month - and a set goal - 50,000 words or more. So it's all up to you.

I know Shoprat has done this in the past. I hope he can do it again this year, but he has his own trubbles to deal with, and may not feel he has the time. So we'll see, right?

Young Writers ProgramRemember that Nano costs nothing to join and participate. Not one thin dime. You can donate to the cause, if you like. I have in the past, but I don't know about this year. I have a $600 dental bill to pay tomorrow - getting three teeth pulled! Oy! - and will find it hard to make the rent this coming month. But I will donate if I can. One of the neat things in the Nano universe is the Young Writers Program. And that's one way a donation helps. And Nano is about helping writers, especially young writers.

Here's how they describe the program at the YWP page:
"What: To meet your word-count goal and write a novel from scratch in one month's time. You will be able to enter your chosen word-count goal in your profile starting October 1, 2009.

Who: You!

You should sign up on the Young Writers Program site if you are:

17 years old or younger participating on your own.
In a K-12 teacher-lead class that is participating in NaNoWriMo.
An educator facilitating NaNoWriMo in your classroom.

If you are 13 or older you can sign up on the main site at Just know that you will have to write 50,000 words since the adult site doesn't allow you to set your own word-count goal.

Why: The reasons are endless! To write freely without having to stress over spelling and grammar. To be able to talk about how cool your novel is any chance you get. To be able to make fun of real novelists who take far longer than 30 days to write their books . . .

When: You can sign up whenever you'd like to add your name to the roster of budding young authors and participate in the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach your word-count goal by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the celebration begins.

Still confused? Just visit the How NaNoWriMo Works for Young Writers page! If you are an educator, visit the How NaNoWriMo Works for Educators page."

They also say:
"In 2008, 119,000 adults participated through our main site, and 22,000 young writers participated through our Young Writers Program."

That's a whole lotta writers! :)

So think about donating, if you can, even if you aren't a writer and don't intend to join us in our 50K quest. It's better than hoping your tax dollars are being used wisely in the Department of Education. Whoo-Hoo!

benning is a participant!I know, some of you are prolly thinking, "What's the big deal? Anybody can write some words." True, anybody can. But they don't. And for writers, and aspiring writers (I say, if you write, you are a writer! No aspiring involved!), this is like a kick in the pants. Here you have a self-imposed deadline, a set goal, and only yourself as a judge. If you fail, so what? So do may others. No disgrace. But writers know how hard it can be when faced with the 'blank page'. It can make you freeze. That's the first hurdle for the writer.

Others come along and threaten our well-being, too.

So Nano can provide the practice a lot of writers need. Practice in how to write something, anything, even when nothing is coming to mind.

Are you a writer? Then why not head on over to Nanowrimo and register? Join in the fun - yes, it can be fun, once you stop all the whimpering, and the weeping while lying on the floor in the fetal position.

November 1st is the opening date! Thew writing race begins! Come on, all you writers: Come Nano!



camojack said...

I started writing a science fiction novel years ago...never got past Chapter 3. Oh, well...

benning said...

So ... why not dive back in, Camo? Nano likes to set rules that demand new works, not old ones, in the endeavour. But who would know, or care, if you went to an old work and started back in on it?

Besides, it's a good way to get the writing muscles flexed and warmed up.


camojack said...

1. My single digit typing skills suck.
2. I had some voice recognition software, but it misheard so much of what I said, I may as well have been typing with the single digit.
3. I've gotten quite lazy in my old age...

benning said...

I'll accept #3.


camojack said...