On Your Mark, Get Set, NaNoWriMo!
NaNoWriMo is a good exercise for those who find themselves getting so hung up on perfecting every last sentence that they can’t seem to complete an entire novel. Lindsey Grant, NaNoWriMo’s Program Director, explains, “You can’t revise what isn’t written yet, right? This novel-in-a-month challenge is such a fantastic way to jump-start your story. Plus it is officially the most fun—and effective—way to shed the constant self-doubts and inner-criticisms and simply pour that story onto the page.”
However, just because the material is written quickly doesn’t mean it’s (necessarily) written poorly; more than 90 “NaNo-novels” have gone on to be published, including "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen, "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern and "Cinder" by Marissa Meyer, all #1 New York Times Bestsellers. So keep that in mind, publishers—if you receive a submission that began as a NaNoWriMo project, there’s always that chance you could have the next big thing on your hands.
NaNoWriMo starts today, so tighten up those outlines, stock up on tissues, and make sure you have plenty of coffee on hand, because for participants, this is a time of laughter, tears and lots and lots of words.
* But even if you do, don’t worry about it too much. You can still complete the challenge as part of the “Rebel” camp, a home for those who reach the 50,000-word goal, but bend a few rules to get there.