Start by doing what’s necessary,

then what’s possible;

and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

Saint Francis


(Technically NANOWRIMO - National Novel Writing Month)

What a novel concept (laboured pun intended). Tell everyone who considers themselves to be a writer on any level to write a fifty thousand word book in the space of a month. Simple.

Right now there are thousands of people obsessing over word counts every day. They do short ‘sprints’ – five minute writing sessions where the aim is to just get words written. They pat each other on the back for every day they manage to write 1,666 words or more, and commiserate when the target is missed. The goal is quantity over quality and it is neither a right nor a wrong approach to writing, but it is quite unique.

The main goal is to get into the habit of writing every day. It’s a tricky thing to do, even harder than you realise. Writing should be a habit, like picking your nose or biting your nails. It should be something you do without thinking about doing it and the only way something becomes a habit is by repetition.

Am I participating in nano? No. I’ve tried several times and “won” once or twice but it just doesn’t work for me. I’m trying to make a career of writing, therefore my goal is to write as many words as possible, every day, all year round. I don’t work well to arbitrary deadlines. I like to edit as I go, I also like to write something of reasonable quality on the first draft and that’s hard to do when you’re focussing on just bashing out the words as quickly as possible.

But I don’t deny that it is beneficial for some. Cathartic even.

When you think about the idea of writing an entire book, start to finish in the space of a month, it seems impossible.

Is it necessary for a writer to participate in Nano? No. Is it possible? Of course. If you try and fail, you’ll at least have something, every word written is a step closer to an actual book, and a publishing contract and success. Ultimately that is a secret dream for most of us.

So to all you nano’ers, I say good luck, write on.

To all fellow non-nano’ers, I say good luck, write on!