National Novel Writing Month (please send coffee)

Last week I shared that I was going to undertake the National Novel Writing Month challenge and write 50,000 words between November 1 and 30.

Prepped for the challenge: notes, computer, and my favorite Alice in Wonderland coffee mug.

Prepped for the challenge: notes, computer, and my favorite Alice in Wonderland coffee mug.

In order to write 50,000 words in 30 days, I need to write about 1,667 words per day. I've shared previously that I typically write 2,000 words a day--so what makes the NaNoWriMo challenge different? Since I'm a freelance writer as well as a fiction author, that typical 2k-a-day routine covers a lot of freelance work and some (but not much) fiction writing. So in reality, between freelancing and working on the NaNoWriMo challenge, I'll be writing over 3k words a day this month.

(Yikes. This feels like a good moment to refresh my cup of coffee.)

Joking aside, there are a lot of benefits to taking on a challenge like this one. The biggest and most important one is the camaraderie. Writing can feel a little lonely sometimes unless I make a point to reach out and network with other writers. NaNoWriMo makes that easy. Writers can connect with their local region online, attend local write-in events, and add writing buddies from all around the 'net. Have a crazy writing buddy? Need a crazy writing buddy? Either way, NaNoWriMo is a good way to meet up.

NaNoWriMo is also good for accountability. Now that I've announced all over the Internet that I'm planning to write 50k words in November...I kind of have to do it. If it was just a private goal that I would have the book drafted by Thanksgiving, I could easily give myself an extension and no one would be the wiser. I'd have plenty of perfectly reasonable excuses, too: I have lots of freelancing to do, it's time to start shopping for the holidays, the closets need to be cleaned...

Telling someone (or in my case, everyone) that I'm committed to this goal makes me much more likely to see it through. So far, it's working. Yesterday (Day 1 of the challenge) I wrote 2,021 words on my novel. That's a pretty good start.

Today is Day 2 of the challenge. Good luck, NaNoWriMo writers! Ready or not, here we go!

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this month? Feel free to connect with me on the site- my handle is Ellen Smith Writes.