November is near — Time for NaNoWriMo 2014!

10696367_10152652554704299_1892699931611470474_nIt is that time of year again.

November is only two weeks away, and I signed up for my next project with NationalNovelWritingMonth.

And every writer can come and join this amazing community of busy bees!

All you have to do is enter your project at and call yourself an aspiring author of at least 50,000 words within the 30 days of November. That amounts to roughly 1600 words each and every day. It is a huge challenge that must not be underestimated — the writing time you need to set aside daily can vary immensely, and you will definitely have to find ways to cut that slice of time out of your every-day routine. Once you fall back, it gets harder and harder to reach the goal. And only roughly one out of 10 of the growing community of writers really makes it to the winner-side. But this is not the whole point of nano. It is designed to motivate people. Nobody will read or critique your work. That is entirely up to you. All the community does is help you reach 50,000 first words of your project.

Hundreds of thousands of novelists all over the world commit their Novembers to this motivational cause.

After winning my first nano last year, with the fantasy novel “Moonstone Hall” (working title, still under edit), which ended at around 125,000 words, this year I definitely want to join the writing frenzy again!

I already committed myself to writing the first draft, or at least 50,000 words, of my very first German novel, with the working title “Tilda und Leo” (to be found here at Nano). It will  simultaneously be published as a serialised novel in a local magazine, as I explain here. It will be a completely new challenge in many different ways: the unusual language (so far, English is my working language), and serialised chunks I will have to carve out of whatever I manage in November, and the confined space of only 1200 words I get in the magazine for each instalment.

But the force that is nano will definitely make me sit and WORK hard, so that at the end of the month I will hold a substantial basis for the project in my hands.

Nano for me was the ultimate kick-off for my new writing life. Nano teaches you to sit down EVERY day and write, because ONLY write is what’s allowed, you must not go back and edit or research too much, the aim is to pour out the necessary 50,000 words that make the backbone of your novel’s first draft. Quality doesn’t matter here. What you do with it after nano is entirely up to you.

After the frenzy subsides in December and onwards, the site stays open and the friendly support continues. You can turn to nano for however long it takes to finish the first draft, the various editing stages, the motivational highs and lows and so forth. Every single problem you could encounter is catered for.

It is a great community, with forums you can count on for motivation, support and help, and just a wonderful writing spirit that will carry you through.

There are also local forums with people from around your area, if you want to take nano from the digital to an analogue level, and meet fellow writers in person at a nearby write-in.

For me, nano was the best (but initially the hardest) decision I have ever made. It helped me to focus on that one goal — the writing project — by forcing that unbelievably tight schedule upon me, and it taught me to SIT down and WRITE on a daily basis, so I COULD reach my goal of completing an entire novel.

I did not finish it in November as such, during that month I just about managed my necessary 54,000 words, but I had gotten the drive to carry on through December and on, so that finally on Rose Monday, at the peak of the Rhenish Carnival, I finally wrote the proud words

“The End”!

And so can YOU. Did you ever enter the writing frenzy that is NaNoWriMo and what are your experiences?

Did you make it, did it give you what you needed to finish a first draft? And if so, what was this project about?

Let us know in the comments below!


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