I always look forward to November each year for more reasons than Thanksgiving. Though I am a sucker for turkey and stuffing, I also love watching my word counts skyrocket as I take part in National Novel Writing Month. (NaNoWriMo for short) For the uninitiated, during NaNoWriMo, writers seek to write 50,000 words in 30 days, which is the length of a short novel.
I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo for three years, and I’ve improved every year. My first year, I barely squeaked by on the 30th, the next year I hit the goal on the 25th, and this year I took a huge leap forward in finishing on the 17th.
This got me to thinking—why couldn’t every month be like NaNoWriMo? If I can do in November, what makes it impossible in January or July? The answer for me is: nothing. I just try harder in November to work hard and minimize distractions because I have a firm target.
With that in mind, I want to set a very high goal this year: I literally want to make every month like NaNoWriMo. I think I’ll call it National Novel Writing Year (or NaNoWriYe) for short. I want to write 50,000 per month for every month in 2012 for a grand total of 600,000 words.
To put that in perspective that’s about two installments of Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series. It is much more than I have ever written, but I think that I can do it. I am serious in my commitment to writing, and I think this will be a formative year in my career.
I’m sure that many full-time authors can easily pull of this feat. However, I’m working a full-time job, have a wife and two kids, and a very busy schedule with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I hope that in doing this, I can inspire others who have busy lives to see that they can still fit writing into their schedules.
I have also decided that I want to take it a step further. Many runners run to raise money for charity. I thought I would go ahead and write for charity instead. To help out, you can pledge an amount, however small, for every month’s worth of words I write (every 50,000 words). That means, if you pledge $1, and I reach my goal, you would donate $12 to charity. In this case, I have selected the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in honor of a good friend who suffers from this disease.
To pledge an amount, fill out the form below. All you need is a full name and email address. I will then send you an invoice through PayPal at the end of the challenge for the proper amount. I will be taking charity suggestions from my readers to figure out where the money should go. I won’t keep a dime.
Anyone else up to the challenge? I’m excited and already a little tired just thinking about it. Luckily, I have several full novel outlines ready to hash out, and I’ll be giving constant updates here on my blog throughout the year.
In this season of giving, I encourage you all to think of ways to spread the abundance we all have been given. Have a happy and blessed Holiday Season.