My writer friends know what that title means. For the rest of you, I will try not to bore you too much with the details. November is National Novel Writing Month.
Or a challenge for the insane. Because, you see, if you are sane November 1st, you surely won't be on November 30th. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. That's 1667 words a day. Words out of thin air, because you are not supposed to actually write anything until 12:01 am Nov. 1st. It's all based on an honor system. There are no judges, no referees, no umpires. You are just expected to follow the rules. And at the end there is no big cash award. Only the satisfaction that you did it. Oh, there is a certificate you can print off and some sponsors who offer items for the verified 'winners'.
"I don't know." How's that for a definitive answer. When I first heard about this challenge, I thought to myself, "Self, you should do this. You've always wanted to write a novel. But, there was always excuses. Not enough time. What if I can't do it? What if it turns out to be a load of stinking crap?" But, then I thought, "What better way to kick your butt in gear."
So five years ago, I jumped into the fray. I soon found out I wasn't alone. There were over 100,000 people taking the wild ride with me from all over the world. There is a web site with awesome support and forums where you can commiserate with others. And everyone cheers everyone on.
That first year I only made it to 24,000 words. But, that's 24,000 more words toward a novel than I had October 31st. Every year after, I've made it to 50,000. My 2009 novel is finished and currently in the hands of an editor in New York. And, I plan on finishing a couple of the other ones.
You would think I would be confident going into this November. But, for some reason, I'm not. Because I know how hard it is. I know that by week two, I'll be exhausted and ready to quit. And, I know that at some point I'll get behind and have to type my fingers bloody to finish on time. My son thinks I'm crazy. And maybe I am. But it's a good kind of crazy. Right?