Countdown to NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month begins in just under nine hours where I live, but it’s already kicked off in other parts of the world. For those who don’t know, National Novel Writing Month–or NaNoWriMo–is a pure fun project where you write a 50,000-word novel draft in thirty days. You “win” by reaching at least 50,000 words on or before 2359 on November 30. You can download web badges, get pep talks by video, enjoy local write-ins, and generally have a good time writing.

The Office of Letters and Light is the non-profit that sponsors NaNoWriMo to highlight the art and craft of writing and to raise money for school programs to encourage kids to write.

An excuse to write and donating to a great cause, and NaNoWriMo lives up to its tag line: “Thirty Days and Nights of Literary Abandon!”

Many writers have turned their NaNoWriMo novels into published work–after editing and revising, of course. Some, unfortunately, have self-published their work immediately after writing and omitting the key steps of editing and revising, but that shouldn’t detract from the fact it’s very liberating to sit down and just write for writing’s sake for thirty days, knowing revising and editing can wait for a calmer time.

I almost didn’t participate this year because I’m prepping two other manuscripts–one for a contest and one to publish in December–but I managed to get both MSS ready ahead of schedule, despite having a cold.

So, I’ll have leftover Hallowe’en candy for snacks, plenty of coffee, a fully charged laptop, and an idea I came up with back in the spring that I can now flesh out. I’ll crank Sat Radio or my iPod up to full volume and put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door.

And I’ll write, and it’ll be fun, until the end of the day and the word counter hasn’t hit 1,667. (To get to 50,000 words in 30 days, you have to write at least 1,667 words per day.) Plus, I’ll be an election officer on November 6, so no writing that day, unless it’s all over quickly and the poll numbers add up.

If you’ve never NaNoWriMo’ed before, give it a try. It’s never too late to subject yourself to such exquisite torture.