Friday, October 23, 2009

NaNoWriMo by Yamile Mendez

I’ve been a writer ever since I can remember. However, it wasn’t until last year that I started working on a story that little by little became my first novel. Working on it was extremely hard; having four kids under the age of seven (at the time), I had plenty of excuses not to write: I’m too tired, the kids need me, I don’t know what to write about, etc., etc.

Well, at the beginning of November I was browsing through a parenting blog and the author commented she had entered into NaNoWriMO. She even had a link to the website, so I clicked it, and my life changed forever. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it’s a competition to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days.

Have I mentioned November is possibly the most insane month in my family? Well, it is, and by then it already was November 7th. But the challenge was too attractive to pass. I felt like Fate was daring me to try, to see if I could do it. So I took the plunge, and on November 28th, I wrote the sweet words “The End.” For me, it was a beginning.

This year, my nine year-old son is entering too. NaNo has a program for Young Writers. There are different preparation booklets you can print out, for elementary, middle and high school aged children. There is also a chart to calculate how many words your child should set as a goal. The main difference with the adult version is that kids get to choose their own goal. My son is aiming somewhere 3,000 to 6,000 words. He’s already outlining his story.

November might be busy for us, but it’s also challenging. I love having a deadline, letting my fingers fly on the keyboard, seeing the word count increase by the minute.

This year I’ll have my little partner, and we'll cheer each other on. I can’t wait for November to come.



Kiirsi said...

Thanks so much for sharing this! I had no clue there was a kids' version. I may have to check into doing that with my daughter.

Mary Jo said...

I'm a creative writing teacher for YA and this will be the 2nd year I take my students for the wild ride of NaNo. They're scared and totally looking forward to it! Pens ready? Go!
~Mary Jo

Cathy Witbeck said...

Nano for kids. How awesome. Thanks for the heads up.

Kelli @ writing the waves said...

You've helped to inspire me. I've got two kids (5 & 3) and I have all of those same excuses, but I'm going to go for it anyway! Thanks for the encouragement!

Yamile said...

Happy writing to all of you!