PONDERING NaNoWriMo: It was a dark and stormy night…
The first of November is not just the end of Halloween. It’s the beginning of National Novel Writing Month, that literary marathon where writers all over the world try to complete a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month.
Okay, I admit I’ve always wanted to write a novel, maybe a pithy bestselling potboiler with bedouins galloping across the desert in their landrovers, but what does it actually take to write 50,000 words? If you do the math, it works out to 1667 words a day. Some say you can write 500 words in an hour, which would mean writing 3 hours every day in order to finish in a month. Others say it’s closer to 800 words in an hour, which means writing two hours a day. Here is an interesting thread with some discussion from people who have actually tried the challenge.
I think I’ll approach this like a sport. There are indeed elite Olympic athletes whose lives revolve around their sport, just as there are some well-published novelists. But when you start a new sport, you don’t plan to run a marathon the first time. You just get yourself some good shoes, run out the door, and go around the block a few times to see how it goes. Then you try to feel good about what you did, and look forward to enjoying it the next time.