NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) starts November 1st or this Thursday. Hopefully if you've not done it before, or done it in a crazy panic some of my Preparing for NaNoWriMo posts here on the blog have been helpful.
Part One - Plan your writing
Part Two - Planning your life
Part 3 - Organising your life
Part 4 -Care for your body
I suppose one of the things we should also discuss is - why do it at all?
If you've always wanted to write a book and never done it because it's too hard, you don't have time, your a perfectionist, you start but you never finish...the list of reasons why could be long...this your chance to churn out a book (that will be fifty steps from perfect) in a short amount of time and then you can say "I did it." There's nothing wrong with achieving a goal, is there?
If you have a great idea that's been churning around in your head this is a wonderful way to get it on paper and then you have something to work with...something to edit and mould in the future.
If you do write but you are the sort of person who has to re-work the same three pages for six months then NaNoWriMo is a great way for you to make some serious forward progress on a book.
Do you assume a book written in a month will be useless rubbish and therefore this exercise is a waste of time? Well as your book stands at the end of November it propbably is useless rubbish but lots of NaNoWriMo books end up getting published - after plenty of editing and re-writing down the track. Like Water for Elephants came from Sara Gruen's NaNoWriMo novel. My friend Pam Cook's novel Blackwattle Lake is being published by Hachette at the end of November and it was a NaNoWriMo novel. Hearts Afire my latest novel started out as a NaNoWriMo book.
What you end up with is the bones of a novel around which to build.
The main reason you should do it, if you like writing, is that it's fun! It may be slightly torturtured and frustrating fun but at the end of November you do feel pretty darn pleased with yourself, and there's nothing at all wrong with that.