Perhaps you’ve always wanted to write that great American novel or tell-all memoir, but life got in the way. Then a pandemic happened, and now your life exists largely on Zoom. The rainy season is about to start where short, rainy days force you to spend more time indoors than out, but instead of meeting friends and family for meals and football games, you’re sequestered alone in at home. Maybe now is the time to finally write that book.
Nanowrimo– National Novel Writing Month- begins in a few days. The goal of this program is for participants to write 50,000 words in 30 days. They won’t be good words. Rarely can an author produce anything of great quality in a first draft, but writing 50,000 words in four weeks is an accomplishment. And who knows? Something may come of it. My debut novel Breakfast With Neruda, (Simon & Schuster, 2016) was drafted in 2012.
The advantages to signing up for nanowrimo are accountability, community and motivation. Once you officially sign on, you can post your daily word counts (you need approx. 1,660 words per day), find out about ‘write ins’ (which are now virtual) and read daily posts from well-known authors on how they stay motivated to write. It’s free and fun, and you may make new friends by participating in write-ins and other activities. (If you sign up and need a buddy, I’m PablosMom. I’ll buddy you back.)
Nanowrimo isn’t limited to novels; you can draft a memoir, a series of essays or stories, or a collection of poetry as well. At the end of 30 days, everyone who posts 50,000 words or more is a winner. The prize is a sense of having done something difficult and plowed through. Make the best of COVID life by crafting that book that’s been burning inside you. It’s a perfect way to document the new normal.
— By Laura Moe
Laura Moe is the author of three novels (two of which began as nanowrimos) and is currently vice president of development at Edmonds-based EPIC Group Writers. Learn more about National Novel Writing Month and its local affiliates here.