Today is the start of both NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month, whereas the goal of NaBloPoMo is to post every day for a month. NaBloPoMo started after NaNoWriMo, so NaNoWriMo has more of a defined purpose:
National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.
While I don't want to write a novel, I do want to write a collection of personal essays on technical writing. NaNoWriMo has a goal of 50,000 words by the end of the month, whereas NaBloPoMo requires only a post every day. If you miss a day with NaBloPoMo, you're done. But with NaNoWriMo, you can catch up. Still, NaNoWriMo requires considerably more output (50,000 words) rather than just a daily post. And it's supposed to be fiction.
Jane participated in NaBloPoMo last year and found it worthwhile. She said it got her into the writing rhythm in a good way, and ideas started to flow freely. This year I'm going to give NaBloPoMo a try. But I want to try to focus each of my posts around some kind of story.
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I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.