Yes, that is not gibberish and is a correct title.
NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, writers from around the world start pecking away at keyboards everywhere at a pace of exactly 1,667 words a day. The goal is just to write. The organizers of this challenge do not worry about quality, their goal is to encourage the creative act of writing. You win if you’ve completed 50,000 words at the end of November. Upload your work into the word count validator, and voila! You are a winner. No editing or revision required. They hope to train future writers to make good habits, build stamina, and just write. As one of my favorite authors told me years ago, “Writers write. Editing and publishing are two totally different skills”. That’s the heart of NaNoWriMo. I’ve always wanted to do this challenge!
I love the thought of churning out nearly 2,000 words a day of thoughts, plot, action, and inner thoughts. I love the challenge. I love the community in this challenge together. And I am a sucker for medals and prizes!
So I’ve added this challenge to my life… sort of.
There is no way I can add novel writing to my to-do list currently. I work; I volunteer; I run (occasionally), and I am earning my doctorate. I cannot author a novel as well.
So I’m keeping track of my own challenge this year. Everything I write for the month of November is being loaded into one document. Every email, every blog post, every term paper, every discussion board post, all compiled into one strange document. I warn you in advance — It would be an absolutely terrible novel to read. There will be no character foils or foreshadowing or literary devices. It would instead be an odd autobiography of a month in the life of Kelly. What preoccupied my thoughts in November of 2017? What was I studying? Who did I write to? What epiphanies did I experience in my work? Will I reach the 50,000 word count goal?
This is a thought experiment for me. Will my words be an appropriate summary of my life this month? If I read my “novel” ten years from now would it bring back memories of this time in my life? How does it make me feel to be the main character of my peculiar novel? Even though there won’t be planned plot lines or vivid verbs chosen, there will be character development and plot, because it is a record of my lived life. I am constantly changing, learning, growing, and processing. My odd novel is just one way to capture the changes that happen around me and within me all the time. God is the Author of my world. He is writing a beautiful story in my life. I am just more aware of this truth than normal because of this challenge. With that thought, maybe that would be a cool novel to read after all!
Happy National Novel Writing Month! I’ll give you my word count at the end of the month!