It's November 1st and, in addition to it being All Saints' Day, it's National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo. I participated in NaNoWriMo last year and I 'won' it. I wasn't the sole winner. If a participant finished the first draft of a novel, at a minimum of 50,000 words, you were considered a 'winner.' Most novels, really, are 70,000 to 80,000 words long but 50,000 is absolutely doable in thirty days and becomes the seed for revisions, which can include making the novel more complex and reaching the bench mark 80,000. I'm actually in the process of finishing revisions for the novel I first drafted during last year's NaNoWriMo (Born From A Stone, book one of my Sage Of Heaven series) and I'm challenging (pressuring?) myself to also finish the first draft of another novel, Aliens Among Us, which is book one of my series of the same name.
I discovered earlier today that November is also NaBoPloMo. (Say that out loud a few times. Doesn't that sound like you've just come back from the dentist, tongue swollen and numb from novocaine?) Anyway, NaBoPloMo stands for National Blog Posting Month. If you're reading this, you're likely a blogger also. And, diligent bloggers, of which I am not one during the months of August through October because of a packed schedule, put up new posts several times a week, if not daily. Well, just as NaNoWriMo helps me with the discipline of sitting down to write and work on my current projects, NaBoPloMo will help me keep in touch with my subscribers. And, the goal of NaBoPloMo is for participants to post a new blog everyday. Like NaNoWriMo, NaBoPloMo has a site where you can register and get more traffic to your blog and through which you can make connections. Check it out here.
Really, NaBoPloMo is, in my opinion, an extension of NaNoWriMo. While WriMo is focused on writing a novel, both are about writing. That's why, with two global reaches to promote writing and reading (let's face it, both are reaching all areas of the world thanks to Twitter and other social media), November has become, for me, 'the writer's month.' Add to this that I took my first Gotham Writer's Workshop in the fall and this time of year is truly all about writing. Of course, I write all year long but there's something special about this time of year that jump starts or adds an extra spark to my involvement with words; not just as an author but as a reader, too. Maybe it's because we're going to be falling back an hour and enjoying less daylight and spending more time indoors. Maybe it's because it's getting colder and we'll be cozied up with a blanket, a warm dog at our feet, logs crackling behind you in your fireplace. Whatever it is, the next few months we'll all be spending more time inside and for many of us that means more reading and writing.
Good luck to my fellow writers, whether you're participating in NaNoWriMo and/or NaBoPloMo or not.
After all, it's about showing up and putting the words down that gets the job done.