Halloween has officially passed and I have barely made a dent in the candy stash I started on the 1st of October, meaning I have no idea where the past 31 days have gone! And while dreary November is displayed on my calendar, I am excited to have a daily project for a change this month.
November is officially Nation Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November. A daily word count of 1,667 is recommended to accomplish the target within the given time.
Two years ago, while watching Kristina Horner’s YouTube channel, I came across her music video that introduced me to NaNoWriMo and inspired me to participate in the challenge. I spent the entire month of November, 2011 writing a novel about a 20-something year-old woman revisiting her mother’s past after her father’s accident left her with nothing. A cliche plot I know, but it was the first time I had held myself accountable to sitting down and writing at least something each day.
By November 30th, I submitted my final word count of 50,025 words, winning my first NaNoWriMo. I printed out my winners certificate and ordered the official winners t-shirt. I wanted to treat myself after one of the most challenging writing ‘expeditions’ I had ever done. The most difficult part of writing a novel was coming up with a fresh story. There were so many times I just filled up the space or introduced a new character because my story had come to a dead end or to explain unforeseen plot holes.
After skipping out on last year’s NaNoWriMo, I was disappointed. The task of school and travel had taken over any spare time I would have had to do some sort of writing, especially since several of my classes were online media and journalism courses. But I still missed waking up and having that daily task of writing something for me.
In one of the classes, students were assigned to maintain some sort of personal blog. I had grown fond of blogs and vlogs over the years and had started following several myself on a daily basis. But I was a little uneasy about having mine in the public eye, as well as holding myself accountable for keeping up with posts. But it was a great introduction to how blogs work and all the tools they give you.
This brings me to this years NaNoWriMo. I decided half way through October that I would participate in NaNoWriMo once again. But instead of writing a novel, I would write a daily blog (thus the name of my blog, The Dailys). It would allow me to have the daily task of writing something each day, but without the frustrations of forming a well developed plot. I can take each day as it comes and write what is on my mind and keep things interesting and more interactive.
It turns out, I’m not the only one with this idea. I signed on to my wordpress account and was bombarded with NaBloPoMo. I discovered within seconds that it is also National Blog Posting Month. So I officially signed up to participate.
With both NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo, I’ve got tons of tools at my fingertips to keep writer’s block away. Each site boasts a community to engage with.
Sign up with NaNoWriMo and specify which region you are in for local events. They host meet ups in local coffee shops and public libraries. You will get pep talks throughout the month delivered to your inbox, plus a forum that posts anything from daily tips to survival guides and more. It will also track your daily word count, your projected finishing date, along with a graph. You can earn badges by achieving certain challenges like choosing a writing buddy or updating your word count too. This year, there are 223,795 registered novelists so far participating in NaNoWriMo! That’s a huge community to be a part of with the same goal!
Add your blog to the NaBloPoMo blogroll by November 5th and you are instantly part of that community. You will be able to add a badge to your blog to show you are participating in NaBloMo and use tools like daily prompts. You can also win prizes each week!
It is going to be an exciting month of blogging and interacting with the NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo community. I am ready for the challenge and am proud to say that I have officially started! Happy November 1st! Here is to 29 more days of The Dailys.