Ever heard of it? I had not either until last year, but apparently, this phenomenon has been occurring since 1999. Here are some amazing NaNoWriMo statistics:
1999: 21 participants and six winners
2000: 140 participants and 29 winners
2001: 5000 particpants and more than 700 winners
2002: 13,500 participants and around 2100 winners
2003: 25,500 participants and about 3500 winners
2004: 42,000 participants and just shy of 6000 winners
But WAIT!! What is it???? Oh, yes. You probably thinking, well those numbers are wonderful, if I knew what you were talking about.
NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writing Month contest. It begins as the clock strikes 12:00 on November 1 and ends as the clock strikes 12 on November 30. The goal? Write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
This year, I am proud to be a participant. Everywhere I go, every writer’s forum I look into, everyone is talking about NaNoWriMo. One woman is even pregnant with a December 1 due date! And she’s committed to writing a novel in 30 days! Insanity! Well, that’s pretty much what it’s all about. Attempting something no sane person would dream of attempting, and in 30 days no less.
I looked at the FAQ for NaNoWriMO and found this hilarious, but appropriate, quote:
Can anyone participate in NaNoWriMo?
No. People who take their writing (and themselves) very seriously should probably go elsewhere. Everyone else, though, is warmly welcomed.
The rules are simple. You can outline the story to death, plan, make character cards, develop plot in graphs, charts, and any other number of applications. You simply cannot write word one until midnight on November 1st.
So this year, I joined the insanity. And it is with pride that I display this icon on my web page.
Look around…you may see others as you travel through the internet. And perhaps they will be detailing their experiences along the way. It’s quite exhilarating. So far my word count is up to 8769 words. Only 41,231 to go!
I can do it. I will do it. And if I don’t, my friend Rita will fly to Orlando from Dallas to personally whup my butt. That’s the strongest incentive of all!
Hopefully, when all is said and written, I will have the beginnings of a valuable manuscript to send to potential publishers or agents. And it’s been known to happen. A handful of authors every year have managed to sell the manuscripts that they wrote during the month of November.
So as you plod through the month of November, and if for some reason thoughts of me pop into your brain, say a quick prayer that I will have the fortitude to finish what I have begun. Oh, and that I don’t forget to feed, clothe and care for my family in the meantime.