It's National Novel Writing Month. It's been going for quite some time, according to its Wiki page:
"National Novel Writing Month, shortened as NaNoWriMo (na-noh-RY-moh), is an annual internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel from November 1 until the deadline at 11:59PM on November 30. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing and keep them motivated throughout the process. To ensure this, the website provides participants with tips for writer's block, local places writers participating in NaNoWriMo are meeting, and an online community of support. The idea is to focus on completion instead of perfection. NaNoWriMo focuses on the length of a work rather than the quality, encouraging writers to finish their first draft so that it can later be edited at the author's discretion. NaNoWriMo's main goal is to encourage creativity worldwide. The project started in July 1999 with just 21 participants, but by the 2010 event over 200,000 people took part – writing a total of over 2.8 billion words" Source
Pretty cool, huh? No one has to read your book, it can be absolutely rubbish, you don't even have to have done any planning. The point isn't the content. The point is to just write and get more people to write.
Last year I noticed the hashtag and was pretty curious as to what it meant. I then fully intended to think up, research and plan something of my own and spend November writing it all up. I think I promptly forgot all about it on the first of December.
October of this year hit. Half way through October I suddenly remembered. I hadn't even done proper research on what #NaNoWriMo was, and so decided to have a look, but probably not join. I mean, who decides to write a novel with only 2 weeks to plan it?
The thing is, the website is so friendly and encouraging. People on Twitter, strangers who obviously saw the hashtag, were so friendly and encouraging. Other people on Twitter *cough Amy and Katy* got overly excited at the thought that this may lead to lots of blog posts. Probably because the last time I blogged was in May. I wasn't intending to blog what I was writing. You see, I'm planning on just typing, with no proof reading or editing of any kind. I mean, I have to write 50,000 words in a month, while working full time, while spending time with Corey...while knitting and crocheting things for Christmas. Proof reading and editing are very low on my list of priorities. Putting a bunch of words to something I've barely planned onto a very public platform made me rather nervous.
Do it, they say. Blog it, they said. We'll read it, they said. It'll be great, they said. If it isn't, people of the internet, you can blame them.
What? I haven't even said what I'll be writing yet? Oh, yeah...I suppose I should vaguely introduce my vaguely planned out novel.
It's called From Cape Town to Leicester, because I have absolutely no imagination when it comes to titles, so just put vague words together that sort of made sense. It's an autobiographical novel, about, well, my life. Or, at least, parts of it. Because I'm a narcissist who just loves talking about herself. That's why I have a blog, right?
Ok, fine, whatever, the real reasons.
- I had two weeks to plan a novel. I have to write 50,000 words in a month to qualify. 50,000 words of a subject I don't know much about (this includes a book of my imagination: you still need to get to know it, I guess, to write about it) will be difficult. However, everyone can write 50,000 words about themselves. I hope.
- A couple of months ago a graduate called our office. I picked up her call. She'd been out of touch with us since she'd graduated in the 60's and was only calling because she was hoping I'd be able to help her with something. She wanted to know if a friend of hers and her husbands had worked for the university. She was writing about her and her husbands life for the grandchildren. The friend hadn't worked there, but I had a bit of time spare and did some digging around. I found out about her husband, who was an incredible man, for all accounts. I found out about their friend, just a brief story about him, and some additional information about what he might have gotten up to. Both the friend and husband had passed away. She was rather elderly and very aware of that. I put the information together in a letter and sent it off. She wrote a beautiful note back saying thank you. It got me thinking. We all feel our lives are mundane and boring. We put down our experiences and our stories, because after all they aren't as good as so and so's stories, or they're nothing like films etc.
All of us, every single one of us is fascinated by what went on before us, by our family history, whether it's our parents, our grandparents or our aunts and uncles. It's a time unknown to us, a time where the things that happened may have seemed ordinary, but are actually incredibly interesting to us now. As I did the research for this woman I thought that one day I should write down my story, for any future children, or grandchildren, nieces or nephews, or for an archaeologist to find and go AHHHH, so THAT'S what they used that weird device for.
So I'm going to write about me. It makes me uncomfortable. It makes me nervous to put out my stories, because they aren't spectacular, or interesting. At least they aren't to me. Yet I tell people about the school trips I went on, or the holidays we used to have, or just the fact I had a swimming pool in my back garden and their eyes open wide. I'm going to blog it. I aim on writing on average about 2,000 words per day, and blogging 2,000 words per day. So be warned, the posts will be long (although I'd probably find I've written close to that in this blog post...).
You're more than welcome to read, or not read. All I ask is that any spelling, grammar or punctuation marks not be corrected in the comments. I don't have time to edit, and I really don't want to feel stupid for making a mistake, then stressing about not making another. I apologise in advance if any of my writing makes you cringe at the inaccuracies contained within. However, I've got a deadline, and dammit, I'm going to do everything in my power to make it.