The Prompter Room

For Sunday, November 1, 2015:

“I love deadlines.  I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

Douglas Adams

Today is the start of what some friends and colleagues have dubbed ‘the month of insanity,’ better known as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.  The goal for participants is to write the first draft of a new novel of at least 50,000 words by the end of November.

Easy, right?  After all, all it takes is between 1600-1700 words a day to reach that milestone.  Of course, that doesn’t count job and/or family responsibilities and duties.

Other than a personal sense of accomplishment — and cheers from their families and friends, and a certificate of completion — the writers receive nothing for their efforts.  No other accolades, no publishing contracts, no agent contacts.  In fact, no one ‘official’ even sees the novels.  One signs up, checks in regularly, and notifies the NaNo people when they’re done.  That’s it.

Frankly, I don’t know how anyone can do this.  I’ve never participated, but I know several people who have.  Some make this an annual event, or attempt to.  Whether they finish or not, I’m always impressed at my friends’ efforts and commitment.  I know one person who started and finished a young adult dystopian urban fantasy novel during NaNo, which was then expanded into a longer novel, one I was lucky enough to edit, and it was — is — good!  I haven’t yet reached 50,000 words in the first draft of my novel-in-process, though I’m getting close, and I’ve been working on it since February (insert a big sigh here) …

So if you have decided to embark on this ‘month of insanity’ of NaNoWriMo, I send along kudos, blessings, and many good wishes.  I look forward to your check-in reports and I will cheer you on, especially as the deadline of November 30 approaches.

Remember, it’s a first draft.  The goal is 50K, not perfection.  You can do this, and I can’t wait to see the results!


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