November has been the National Novel Writing Month for years and, by the looks of it, that’s not going to change.
Had I not spent two months in Lisbon some years ago, I probably wouldn’t have ever heard about NaNoWriMo. I happened to be there in November and met a Belgian guy who was going to sign up for it.
But what is NaNoWriMo? It’s a crazy month when participants have to write a 50,000-word novel from scratch. They can’t start before 12:00:01 November 1st and it has to be finished by 23:59:59 November 30th.
There’s no time for checking and correcting; there’s only time for writing — 1,700 words a day if you write at the weekends, 2,300 if you don’t. The aim is to encourage those people who always say they want to write a novel, but never find the time for it. NaNoWriMo is intended to be a way to get a first draft of the text, not the greatest bestseller ever. Writers have eleven months to edit and publish their novel — if they feel like doing it — before the next NaNoWriMo.
That time in Lisbon I thought about participating, but there were better things to do abroad than staying in and writing. Ever since then I wanted to put myself to the test, but 2011 is definitely not my year. I guess my last chance will be November 2012, right before the world ends.