Why I'm attempting #NaNoWriMo this year...


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Ever since I can remember I've been obsessed with writing a book. When I was little I'd scrawl stories in notebooks, creating fictional worlds or building on those that I'd read about in The Babysitters Club or The Secret Garden. I loved creating those little stories and for a young girl growing up in a small town, I suppose it was a form of escapism.

Throughout school my passion for reading and writing and creating only deepened - English was always my strong suit, the subject in which I succeeded most naturally and with most ease. I devoured books at an insatiable pace and could read a magazine cover to cover in 20 minutes. I studied English Literature right through to A-Level, and even tried to change my degree course last minute from the very dry Economics to my beloved subject.

Turns out everywhere was oversubscribed with English students, but I perservered anyway, taking creative writing courses as my elective modules and starting my first blog to keep me writing.

And then, well, real life took over. I had part time jobs and a dissertation about trade union activity to write. And then I had a graduate scheme and a career and work travel filling my time. Suddenly there was less room for reading and writing and creating and inventing.

Earlier this year I made a pact with myself to read more, with a challenge to read 25 books this year. I surpassed that target pretty early on and reading all of those wonderful novels and biographies has relit the fire in my belly for words and stories and imagination.

And then I heard about #NaNoWriMo - a non-profit that is dedicated to helping as many people as possible write a novel in the month of November. The concept is simple: you write 50,000 words, in 30 days, thus ending up with the first draft of a novel. The only rules are hitting the word count and not self-editing as you go.

Sounds pretty good, huh? As soon as I stumbled across the website, I knew I wanted to give it a go. Not because I think I'm going to have a Man Booker Prize worthy novel by the end of November, but because I'm hoping it will give me some structure and enthusiasm around writing again. It's easy for me to say that I'm going to start writing more, but having a deadline and a target will make that so much more achieveable for me.

I'm hoping that daily writing will help me to hone my tone of voice, which I don't find as easy when writing fiction as I do when penning lifestyle content. And I'm excited to commit to trying out some plot and character ideas - no pressure for it to be perfect, just getting words down on paper and seeing what happens.

But best of all, I'm buzzed about interacting with a writing community. Sourcing tips from more experienced and writers and just generally feeling inspired from all these awesome people just trying to create something great at the same time.

If you're interested in finding out more about #NaNoWriMo I would highly recommend checking out their website and the hashtag on Twitter. A few of us bloggers are also going to check in with each other regularly for support, so let me know if you wanna be a part of our little gang!