Did You Know About NaNoWriMo?
Because I didn't. That is until I read this article on LifeHacker at the beginning of the month. Apparently, the month of November is National Novel Writing Month in the U.S and NaNoWriMo is an initiative by the Office of Letters and Light (sounds like something straight out of Harry Potter) to promote novel writing throughout the month. So because it seemed interesting and I had a novel plot I'd been meaning to advance, I decided to participate.
Thirty days and nights of literary abandon!
At least that's what it is supposed to be. But as a senior in college I knew right from the start that there was no way I was going to win the competition. Still even if I only managed to advance my plot by a chapter, I felt it would be a worthwhile endeavour. As it turned out, it has indeed been a worthwhile endeavour. I came up with a new style of writing I call page-long chapters which allows me to focus on just the main events in my plot and using this format I was able advance my story by about 2000 words or 4 chapters.
Now in the larger scheme of things believe it or not, 2000 words is a pretty shitty result. To win the competition, one would need to maintain an average word count of at least 1,667 words per day. The goal being a 50,000 word novel by midnight on November 30th. Like the LifeHacker article states, it's a steep goal for even the most seasoned writers.
Nonetheless, I definitely benefited from the experience, and I intend to participate every November henceforth. So if you're looking for an excuse to write everyday, now you have one... or at least you will next year. As for me, I think it will be a few years before I can even dream of winning, but I remain thankful for the discovery.