Preparing for National Novel Writing Month

I love National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’ve participated – and finished – several times over the years, and each year as November is on the horizon, I am always wondering if I’ll do it again. And while I haven’t participated every year since that first time, I am planning to do it again this year. What I enjoy about it is that it gives me an opportunity to work on something completely different and play around with the idea.

Writing OutsideI might get an idea for a new story while I’m working on other projects (the current novel, different posts or photography plans), but for the month of November I can work on that new thing that has been cultivating in my mind and see what kind of potential it may have.

There’s a lot of freedom in that kind of play. If the story turns out to not be working so well, that’s fine. It’ll be something fun to write that I can explore and generate ideas for something else. Once the month is over, it can be put away for me to think on or expand in a different way. And if the story does turn out to work well, then even better. That’s one I’m going to keep working on once I hit my 50,000 words until I feel like the story’s ended. If it’s going well, it’s still going to take a lot of work.

Hemingway's writing space in Key West

Hemingway’s writing space in Key West

I have also used the month to rewrite a story. If I had started one and loved the characters and setting, but started having different ideas for the plot, I sometimes used November to start over from scratch. That “first” draft became my prep work to flesh out characters. The month becomes a playground to try a new direction. It’s a great way to exercise creativity.

Will you be participating in NaNoWriMo come November? Have you done NaNoWriMo before?


Patricia returned to Texas after spending several years on both coasts. She's a writer, amateur photographer and traveler.

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