November is just around the corner, which means many different things to many different people. But for me, and for my fellow writers, November brings a month of writing insanity with National Novel Writing Month! Woohoo! Can you feel the adrenaline?
In case you have not heard of this program, it is a competition to write a 50,000-word first draft of a novel in 30 days, beginning on November 1. Yep, that’s right … 1667 words per day, every day, for 30 days straight.
This will be my first time joining my fellow writers on this month long stretch and I am so excited to get started. Yes, 50,000 words is quite a feat and at times, it seems almost impossible, but from what I understand, it teaches writers endurance and discipline, something that I am definitely lacking these days.
Here is a little more info:
The program started in 1999 in San Francisco and has grown exponentially since that time. Here are the numbers:
1999: 21 participants/six winners.
2000: 140 participants/29 winners.
2001: 5000 participants/700 winners.
2002: 13,500 participants/2,100 winners.
2003: 25,000 participants/3,500 winners.
2004: 42,000 participants/6,000 winners.
2005: 59,000 participants/9,759 winners.
2006: 79,000 participants/13,000 winners.
2007: 101,510 participants/15,333 winners.
2008: 119,301 participants/21,683 winners.
2009: 167,150 participants/32,178 winners.
2010: 200,500 participants/37,500 winners.
2011: 256,618 participants/36,843 winners.
2012: 341,375 participants/38,438 winners.
A number of these first drafts later became top-selling novels published by traditional publishes. Among these were The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.
Like I said before, the task will be challenging, but I am up for it. So, say a little prayer for me and if you see me with bags under my eyes, please bring coffee … or chocolate. Or just give me a hug.
And now a question for all my fellow writers, have you ever participated in National Novel Writing Month? How was the experience? And what did you do to prepare yourself?