Nanowrimo is short for National Novel Writing Month, a creative challenge that takes place every November. The goal is to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in 30 days, without worrying about quality or editing. Image source: Nanowrimo
Background of Nanowrimo
NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, is a month-long writing challenge that takes place every November. The goal is to write 50,000 words of a new novel in 30 days, or about 1,667 words per day. NaNoWriMo was founded in 1999 by Chris Baty and a group of 20 writers in the Bay Area.
The challenge moved to November in 2000 and launched its website, attracting more than 140 participants. Since then, NaNoWriMo has grown into a global phenomenon, with hundreds of thousands of writers joining every year. NaNoWriMo is also a nonprofit organization that supports creative writing and education through various programs and events.
Many novels written during NaNoWriMo have been published, such as The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. NaNoWriMo is a community-powered event that celebrates the power of stories and the joy of writing.
My First Journey with Nanowrimo
After 24 chapters, 69 pages, 50,239 words, 273,255 characters and many sleepless nights, I have finally done it! The final tally as of 1st December 2008 saw 15,319 winners out of 119,151 writers who participated.
I won my NaNoWriMo 2008 in my first outing.
It has not been easy though. I started my NaNoWriMo campaign on the second day of the month (I missed the first day). Starting was slow. I only managed to do 906 words on the first writing day when I should be averaging at least 1,600 words per day. But in time, I managed to catch up. By yesterday, I already had done 50,239 words over 23 days. That is an average of 2,184 words per day.
Keeping on writing was not easy especially when I could not think of the next plot for my story and the clock was ticking away. Every day, after I went back home and had my shower and dinner, I would open my laptop and start typing the story. I will try to “draft” out the plot in my mind as I am driving back home and once I start, I will expand it from there.
Often I have gotten more ideas after I have started to write, so it was a good thing too. My daily writing sessions last for about 2 hours and this is a daily event (except on the weekends where I have more time to write more). I lost some good sleeping hours but what the heck; this project only comes once in a year.
My story for NaNoWriMo 2008 titled “The Malayan U Boat” is not finished though. The story details are still in a crude form. There is plenty of polishing up to do in December. I need to fine-tune the storyline, give other characters proper names, update the details of German U Boat, give proper location details and many more. I gather I will clock another 10,000 words (or more) once the editing has been done.
I have completed the Nanowrimo week, a remarkable feat that only a few writers can boast of. It was a gruelling journey that tested my skills, creativity, and perseverance. I had to overcome many challenges, such as writer’s block, distractions, and fatigue. I also had to face my doubts and fears and keep myself motivated and focused. But I did not give up, and I am proud of what I have accomplished. I hope that this experience will inspire me to take on more Nanowrimo challenges in the future and to continue improving my craft as a writer.