As a creative writing strategy, I took a look at NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. It is a creative writing project, started way back in 1999 with 21 participants. Held in the month of November every year, participants in NaNoWriMo aim to write 50,000 words in 30 days. According to the NaNoWriMo website last years event had over 100,000 participants with over 15,000 people reaching the finish line.
Write, Write, Write
If you choose to use this strategy, you must write. 1667 words per day, for 30 days in order to reach the target 50,000 words. No editing, just writing. The point is to achieve the word count. Use your time to churn out your book or partial book. This creative writing exercise aims to get you into the practice of writing consistently over a prolonged period of time.
The method has it’s detractors, most notably amongst the grammar and structure police, but I think they miss the point of the whole exercise. The people who will find this strategy most useful are those who are perhaps making their first attempt at writing a book. Perhaps they have written short stories, or attended writing courses or entered writing contests.
Creative writing courses and workshops all to some degree operate timed writing exercises where you just write, perhaps for 15 minutes, maybe more. It works. It really does. You may read what you have written afterwards and shudder at your spelling or grammar, but the reality is that you have the beginnings of a piece of work that can be fine tuned at a later stage.
NaNoWriMo is about achieving a major writing goal
A novella is a book that has up to 40,000 words. At 50,000 you’ve definitely written a novel or are well on your way. The WriMo philosophy enables you to hunker down and write to a deadline. It’s possible to move WriMo to another month (there is JanNoWriMo going on right now). You could get your writers ring or group to establish your own WriMo sometime later in the year, the possibilities are endless really. Just do it! Write, write write a book.
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