Started in 1999 with something like 21 actual participants, it’s become a tradition in its own right with nearly 200,000 people taking the challenge last year.
The challenge: Participants register for this internet-based creative writing bit of insanity, committing themselves to try writing 50,000 words of a new novel (or something) between November 1 and November 30.
I’ve taken the challenge three times, and finished. You submit your collected words to a word counting system on their website to be confirmed. This constitutes you being classified as a “winner.”
The first time I did it was 2004. I was pretty washed-out by November 30, but I was also thrilled beyond definition. I’d proven to myself that I could write 50,000 words within a 30-day period. Actually–(I kept my writing calendar from that year)–I accomplished the challenge in 24 days as there were 6 days I didn’t put any words in at all. ☺
But I’m not going to do it this year.
This year I’m going to do: ReNoReMo — Rebecca’s Novel Revision Month. (Kudos for this acronym goes to my youngest daughter, Jennifer.)
My task list for November is long what with a historical play I’m rehearsing for, new writing assignments recently accepted in addition to the regular column expectations. I promised to sew the period costume I’ll wear for the play presentation later on in November and we will be traveling for Thanksgiving. We have two grandbabies on the way and two baby quilt projects await me down the hall in my sewing room. So . . . I feel I need to sit out any new novel writing, but I want to participate in the month somehow, thus: ReNoReMo.
I plan to devote time every day to working on the line edits that have been glaring at me for the past few months. I’ll have to hold myself accountable, something akin to weighing oneself once a week, but not telling anyone what the scale registered. (Hell has a better chance of freezing and thawing ten times in the next century than me revealing weekly weigh-in results.)
Possibly you are not up to taking the 50,000 word challenge yet. That’s okay.
How about picking out one project, writing or otherwise, that’s been dogging you for a while and setting your sites on completing it during the month of November?
Decide on what that project is and then take the first two letters of your name, the project, the type of work you will do and finish with “Mo” denoting month.
GeorgeAnn finish short story – GeFiSsMo
Robert clean basement – RoCleBaMo
Jenna write thank yous – JeWriThuMo
Brenda bake fruitcakes – BreBaFruMo
It might sound like gibberish, but if it gives you a goal—or a challenge—what do you care what it sounds like? Write your acronym for the month on a sticky note and put it on your refrigerator where you’ll see it every day and then dig in.
You will be very proud of yourself come November 30 when you realize what you accomplished.
Borrow the impetus of NaNoWriMo to be different to get what you want — or need — done this month.