For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Participants attempt to complete a novel of 50,000 words in 30 days every November since 1999. It’s a good way for authors to force themselves to complete their drafts for editing later on. For others, it is a good way to practice writing. There are many community events held all over the world. Participants would gather together to support and encourage each other.
Writing has always been a passion for me. My love for science fiction, and later on fantasy, novels inspired me to create worlds and populate them with various characters. However, I have not been diligent enough to complete one of my many story ideas. The lack of time since I started working is a tired excuse but one that’s unavoidable nonetheless.
The longer I stayed away from writing, the harder it was for the words to flow. I had to stop more often to think of the appropriate words instead of knowing instinctively the right words to express myself.
When I chanced upon NaNoWriMo in 2009 on Neil Gaiman’s blog, I knew it was something I had to join. The concept of simply writing and not worrying about editing was liberating for me as a writer. I’m the kind of author who would fret over details, hence the lack of pace when it came to writing.
The target final word count after 30 days of writing forces me to work hard to maintain my rhythm and eagerness to push forward with the story. I cannot afford to dawdle at a particular point in the story to write up back stories for a new organization or a character like I usually would. Sometimes I would even get stumped thinking of the perfect names for the more significant characters.
I hope I can focus on my writing and win this year rather than aiming for a perfect draft.