This year marks the 10th anniversary of Nanowrimo. Don't ask me how it's pronounced, but it stands for National Novel Writing Month. Some of you are probably already in the throes of writing your 50,000 words rough drafts, but for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about ...
During the month of November thousands of aspiring writers band together to write 50,000 words in 30 days. The goal is to just get a draft down. No one's expecting it to be a masterpiece. Then once the draft is done, you'll finally have something to work with.
But don't let the fact that we're already 7 days into the month deter you. Any month can be your Nanowrimo!
I attempted my own personal Nanowrimo a couple years ago when I was writing my second novel. I purposed to write 60,000 words in 6 weeks. I figured if I wrote 1500 words a day, five days a week, that would work. I ended up taking more like 8 weeks, but I did it. It was hard, I'll admit. But I was very glad I made the commitment.
But here's the thing that made it work for me. I did not allow myself to go back and re-read what I wrote the day before. I know. Sounds impossible, right? It wasn't as hard as I might've thought. Sure, I had some plot threads that got dropped midway. A character or two disappeared (with some others show up unexpectedly). But I found out I had more of the story in my head than I thought.
Have you been laboring over the first three chapters of your book for the past three months (ask me how I know what this feels like!)? Do you desperately want to finish that book you started years ago but put in a drawer? Why not give the Nanowrimo technique a try? You don't have to not read what you wrote the day before, but I guarantee it'll help you turn off that internal editor that hounds your every writing hour. :)
And now in honor of this year's Nanowrimo participants, I give you this video: