50,000 words. 30 days. Good luck getting any sleep.

If you're in the writing community in any capacity, you may have hear the term "NaNoWriMo" before. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, here's a quick little primer on the subject.

NaNoWriMo (standing for NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth) is a month-long competition that challenges writers to build a book from scratch in 30 days. That's 50k words in only a little over 4 weeks. The average amount of words you need to write to get there?

Sounds crazy? Pretty much. But year after year, there are tons of participants who actually finsih and "win" NaNo. Why would people put themselves through the hell that is 1,667 words a day for that many days?

At lot of times, this can be a great way to get creativity flowing and simply get words onto a page. A large majority of the time, if you're looking to write a book, the very first draft that you write will not be the one that gets published. But you also can't revise something you haven't written yet, which is where NaNo comes in.

With the amount of people who participate and encourage others, it can be easier to get those first draft words out. The benefit of a challenge like this is also that it goes for quantity over quality.

Now normally, you'd get the opposite advice, but not in terms of simply finishing the first draft.

For the very first draft of #ProjectParadise, I kept literally one scene in the current iteration I have now. And that scene is barely recognizable. But it was still worth writing, as that was the starting point for what has become one of my favorite things I've written.

Now for the million dollar question: am I joining NaNo this year?

In full disclosure, though I know what NaNo is and have seen friends go through with it, I've never actually participated myself. It's always been a bit intimidating. But this year, I got a shiny new idea right off an edit round of #ProjectParadise, so I figured that I would actually go for it this year. I wrote the current draft of my manuscript in 2 weeks, so maybe I can finish this one in four?

I guess we'll find out.

In order to keep both myself and any of you reading this involved and motivated, I put together a couple calendars that you can use to track your daily word counts. There's a version with the standard 1,667 words per day and there's also one where you can write in your own amounts. I also have black and white as well as color options.

If you are interested in having a calendar printed for you and shipped out with some stickers and other writerly goodies, drop me a line in the comments or DM me on any of the social media sites I keep active and I'll get one made for you (the materials are free, but I would ask that you pay shipping).

Have a marvelous day!

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