One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or ten pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off. —Lawrence Block, WD
Camp NaNoWriMo is just around the corner.
Just in case you are not aware of what NaNoWriMo is, it is trying to write a fifty thousand word novel in a month. It’s crazy, frustrating, and fun all at the same time. I have done it for the past three years, and I plan on doing it again.
There is one more thing that I should tell you about NaNoWriMo, it takes place in November.
So, why am I talking about it now?
I’m talking about it now because there is a Camp NaNoWriMo coming up this July. There was one in April as well. The Camps are a bit easier since you can decide your own word goal, or even count by pages, lines, minutes, or hours.
This July I am going to participate for the fifth time in Camp NaNoWriMo. This is a chance to actually finish writing a story. These have helped me to improve my writing and establish daily writing habits.
But some people think that NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo are useless. That the people who write during these never get published, or if they do their novels never go any where.
However, that is not the truth. There are authors who became best sellers and their books started as NaNoWriMo novels.
Today I would like to share some of those books with you. Most of them are not books that I have read, but I want to share them with you today so that you can see what people have accomplished.
Cinder, Scarlet and Cress by Marissa Meyer
These three are actually the only books on this list that I have read. All three of these began as NaNoWriMo projects, and although I am sure that there was a lot of editing before they were published, it is still impressive. Also from what I’ve heard she finished several thousand words above the fifty thousand that she was aiming for.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
This book was written over several NaNoWriMos, something that is considered ‘illegal’ among those who compete in NaNoWriMo, although it never stops people from doing it. Writers tend to be rebellious when it comes to what they can and cannot do with their writing.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
This book has now been made into a movie. From what Sara Gruen said about writing this book it does not sound like the easiest NaNoWriMo, she had to deal with sick pets and a broken foot. However, she still managed to do it, and many people are glad that she did.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow Rowell was already a published author when she decided, rather skeptically, to try NaNoWriMo. That was when she wrote Fangirl. It ended up being about twice the length of the original fifty-thousand word draft, but what is really impressive is that most of what she wrote during NaNoWriMo stayed in the completed novel.
Wool by Hugh Howey
This book was not only written during NaNoWriMo, it was also self-published. It is apparently one of the books that made self-publishing much better known.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This entire series was first written as very rough drafts during NaNoWriMo.
The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough
This book was actually his second attempt at NaNoWriMo. His first attempt fell apart in the first chapter, but that did not stop him from trying again. This second book eventually became a New York Times best seller, and the first book in a trilogy.
I hope that this will inspire you to join me at Camp NaNoWriMo this July. The world needs our stories. There may be thousands of others, but ours are each unique and the world needs that.
I am looking forward to reading your novel some day!