Attended my second NaNoWriMo Write-In last night (a few hours ago, actually), and while not a lot of people showed up, a few did, and I got to meet some nice people with some really neat ideas for writing. It made me realize how different we all are, even when we approach the same concept or event as someone else. Some people are paranoid that someone will steal their work. Others are open and share everything. Some are confident that they can easily write 50k words in 30 days, and others don’t think they can get past 10k or 15k words in the same amount of time.
This is fantastic opportunity for a lot of people — people like you and me — who never thought they could write anything more than a term paper in high school (and we had trouble with that). NaNoWriMo opens up the novel writing to everyone, takes the fear away or at least shows us how to manage it, and provides us a platform to give writing a test run. For thirty days, we are all out there writing as much as we can, without stopping to design, edit, revise, or even proofread our text (and believe me, some of it needs a good proofreading). That can all come later. What we do now, in these thirty days, is prove that we have what it takes to write at least a novella (approximately what 50k words will give us), and in some cases, a full novel. We don’t have to be James Michener or J.K. Rowling. We can just be ourselves. But selves that can write enough words to qualify as a novel. And somewhere, somehow, some of us will publish what we dream up and write this November. It all starts with a word. Then a sentence. Then a paragraph, page, scene, chapter, and so on, until we have enough to ‘win’ the NaNoWriMo contest. What happens after the prose is written is another chapter in the publication process.
But it all starts with a word.