It’s NaNoWriMo time again. To those who don’t know what that means, it’s NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH. It takes place every November. The idea is to write 50,000 words during the month of November (that is equivalent to 1,666.666666 words per day). Not really a difficult thing to do for someone like me. I say someone like me, because I do the Muskoka Novel Writing Marathon every July. That’s a 72-hour novel writing marathon (that works out to 16,666.66666 words per day – a little more tricky!). But in November my writing skills are almost non-existent. So it’s just as hard for me to do 1,666 words a day this time a year as it is for me to do 16,666 words a day in July.

So…in order to cut myself some slack during NaNoWriMo, I have always taken a different look at this event than others have. I know some take the same view as me…but I also know that some take the win/lose side of NaNoWriMo very seriously. I’m just not the kind of person to take stuff seriously to the point of chastising myself…writing is my hobby. It’s something I enjoy profusely, but it is not something I’m going to start using as a weapon. Ever.

For ME, NaNoWriMo means getting your bum in a chair (B.I.C.) and getting some writing done. If the goal is 50,000 words in the month of November, I give myself a pat on the back if I manage to get 20,000 words completed. It doesn’t mean I didn’t win…it means I have 20,000 words that I otherwise would not have. Yay, Me! I refuse to see 20,000 words (or 10,000 or 15,000 or 45,000) as a failure. People have to give themselves CREDIT for getting B.I.C. during NaNoWriMo. The idea is to get writers writing…not to get them to beat themselves up if they don’t write enough.

When the starting whistle goes off tomorrow (NOVEMBER 1st, 2011), please don’t go in with the desperate feeling that you will win or lose. Go in with the knowledge that you are going to give the writer in you some extra time to get more words down. Give yourself a pat on the back, no matter how many words you end up with on November 30th. The idea is to get B.I.C., not make yourself feel terrible about your writing. It’s actually an event that celebrates writing. Remember this…and give credit where credit is due.

Be kind to yourself this NaNoWriMo. Forget the word count. Lose yourself in the words…not the quantity of the words. Output only matters in the sense that you are having output.

enjoy your NaNo experience! I know I will.

My first NaNo Project:

My 2003 NaNo Project - Published 2011