NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo Start Nov 1
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.
About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer based in the San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.