• CJ Hawthorne

NaNoWriMo or No?

Hello! As some of you may know, this month is Camp NaNoWriMo. As such, I wanted to talk about the concept of NaNoWriMo and my experiences with the idea of it.

For those of you who may not know, NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is an annual event in which authors attempt to write 50,000 words of a new novel in only thirty days. Official NaNoWriMo is in November, with Camp NaNo taking place in April and July. Camp NaNo is a broader version of NaNoWriMo where writers can support each other through working on any kind of project, not necessarily a novel. Usually these writers can join forums and support groups online in order to keep each other accountable and encourage one another. Overall, NaNo is a great way to connect with other writers and help each other get closer to their goals.

NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNo are great resources for writers who aren’t afraid to connect with others online. I love the opportunity it gives to make huge progress on one’s work and find encouragement while doing so. However, I‘m thinking about the practical aspect of NaNoWriMo, that is, actually writing 50,000 words. Does it sound like an easy task? For some, probably. Personally, I overthink, and I’m a slow writer, so the idea of NaNoWriMo has been pretty daunting to me. In order to write 50,000 words over thirty days, one has to write 1,666 words per day (if spread out equally). Last summer, I tried to apply this regimen to the draft of Exodus, and it went pretty well. I made the goal on most days, and by the end of summer, I had finished the draft. However, this was over the course of the entire summer break. I had quite a bit of leeway from the thirty day mark. In contrast, this summer I haven’t been good at accomplishing much of anything. Truth be told, I’m much slower, and while I tried to build up my endurance and speed, I still have scarcely had a day where I write over 1000 words.

So what’s my point? If you think you’d work well under a little pressure, then definitely give NaNoWriMo a try! But don’t be daunted if your productivity begins to lag- we’re all humans, and we have our good days and bad days. I’m going through a phase of bad days, productively speaking, but you know what? It’s summer, and aside from writing, the main goal of summer break is to relax. I suppose I’m merely relaying to you what I’ve been trying to tell myself. Getting stuff done is a great feeling, but sometimes you falter, and that’s ok! Writing should be a labor of love, and if your love for it will propel you to create something that people will enjoy, then use that while you still can and channel it into creation.

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