You may well ask, “What in the world is NaNoWriMo?”
NaNoWriMo is code for National Novel Writing Month, an online extravaganza in which participants attempt to write a novel of at least 50k (that’s right, 50,000) words during the month of November–from scratch. This means not one word can be written in the manuscript before 12:01 AM on November 1 and not one word can be added after midnight, local time, on November 30.
Last year there were over 250k (that’s right, over 250,000) participants from 500 chapters in Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, Central & South America, Micronesia, the Middle East, Turkey, dozens of locations in Europe, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, as well as each of the 50 states and Puerto Rico. Personally, I”m a member of the CIA, which stands in this case for Central Iowa Authors.
For each of the last five years, I’ve particpated in and won NaNoWriMo. By “won” I mean I completed the goal of 50k words and received all NaNoWriMo’s fantastic free web badges, recognition, and affirmation. But each year, it seems increasingly difficult to make the NaNoWriMo commitment. Since I don’t write on Thanksgiving or on Sundays, and I don’t schedule writing time for Saturdays, I generally have to write 2,500 words on each work day. That wouldn’t be a problem if those words were my only work. But it’s not. I have a lot of other writing commitments. And a lot of family commitments. And this November already has what I’ll call ministry commitments. Writing 2,500 words each workday in a novel would require an immense amount of time and concentration. Can I afford this much focus on fiction?
That is the question.
While I consider it, the hum’s pitch whines higher.