November is National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known as NaNoWriMo. This is the month when writers gonna write write write write write! The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. You’re supposed to start from scratch, leave your editing hat on the shelf (preferably under lock and key), and follow the mantra of BIC HOK TAM (Butt in chair, hands on keyboard, typing away madly).
I don’t play by the rules.
That’s why I say I participate in NaNoCHEATMo.
I take advantage of all the support that ramps up in the writing community, the Wrimos as we’re called, during the month of November. Instead of starting a new novel, I dive in to a novel in progress. I try to write every day. I reward myself with chocolate (we have LOTS of leftover Halloween candy) and “writing streak” badges, which I post on Facebook. This leads to encouraging posts from fellow Wrimos and other friends, which gives me an extra boost to keep writing.
When my writing streak crashed and burned after 14 days, I had to admit it on Facebook. What did I get in response? More encouragement! And what did I do? I got back in the saddle. I only missed three days, and I am re-energized to continue writing.
The hardest thing for me is to keep my internal editor in hibernation. This is true all year, not just in November. NaNoWriMo gives me permission not to worry about perfection. It gives me incentive to get words on the page, even if it’s not the 1,667 daily words needed to reach a goal of 50,000 by November 30.
Did I mention I cheat? My goal isn’t 50,000 words. It’s words. Every day.
And guess what? I found out it’s not cheating! NaNoWriMo.org has several personal achievement badges that you can award yourself. One is the NaNo Rebel badge: That’s me! I’m a rebel! If you’re a writer, I hope you are participating in NaNoWriMo and achieving your goals. If you know a writer, give them encouragement and a “Way to Go!” And chocolate. Chocolate is always appreciated!