Every writer knows that writing comes with a fair amount of procrastination. There’s always something else that one can be doing other than writing…watching a movie, hanging out with friends, even cleaning. It’s the “I can do it later” excuse that National Novel Writing Month confronts head on.
National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved. The goal is to write 50,000 words (about a 175-page novel) from November 1 to November 30. With the time limitation, writers are forced to simply write. No procrastinating, no editing, just writing.
It’s a challenge to put aside your doubts and to silence your inner editor, but it’s a great way to try a style of writing that you may not have a chance to do in your professional jobs. It’s also a worldwide writing event. So even if it’s two in the morning and you’re starting at your computer screen because you feel like you’ve run out of words, there’s some comfort in knowing that others are out there experiencing the same thing.
To help you focus on your writing, Scrivener is offering a special trial edition. The word processor and project management tool helps you outline and structure your ideas, take notes, view research alongside your writing, and compose pieces of your text in isolation or in context. It’s available for both Mac OS and Windows, plus the 30-day trial period has been extended to December 7, with options to buy at a discount post-NaNoWriMo.
If writing a novel doesn’t appeal to you, there are still benefits to using the event to fuel your own writing projects. Use the month of energy and excitement about writing to find the motivation to finish your dissertation, write that short story you’ve got in mind, or start a new blog.
NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, but you can join at any time during the month, and while it’s nice to “win” by writing 50,000 words, any amount of writing is better than never starting. Who’s in?