For those of you who don’t know. NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. (It’s actually international but that would make it InterNaNoWriMo and maybe that just makes it too complicated for some).

National Novel Writing Month as you may be able to guess by it’s name is all about writing. Writing a novel. Sweating words. 1,667 words. For thirty days. Like life, NaNo is not about the novel, it’s about the process and you finding and understanding your place in that process.

Taking part in NaNo last year was the best of times and at certain moments the worst of times. But it taught me the importance of setting goals, keeping at it and that the result of so much excrement is excellent fertilizer.

I got down words. I got down ideas. I even got down a novel. But the words weren’t always coherent, the ideas weren’t always the brightest epiphanies and the novel wasn’t exactly publishable.

But. I learned to experiment with words. To noun verbs and verb nouns. I learned that some ideas might work better as a short story. Some would be best deleted. And at the end of the month, no, I didn’t have a publishable novel but I had a first draft and plenty of material for other writing projects.

If you’re a writer or just starting out in the field, take the challenge. Use the NaNoWriMo platform to develop an idea. It might not lead you to a novel but it will certainly take you to a profoundly intriguing world you did not know you had access to.

Visit NaNoWriMo’s website at http://www.nanowrimo.org to learn more.