‘I’m doing NaNoWriMo,’ I said unwisely. Now there’s no going back. I’ve got to get cracking.

NaNoWriMo, of course, is a yearly competition with a simple goal — create a novel in thirty days. Fifty thousand words, complete the book to win. Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus started off as a NaNoWriMo novel, so it’s well worth a go.

Except, of course, the damn competition sneaks up on you faster than Christmas combined with a coursework deadline.

…‘Wot? No! Already?’…

Pity the poor, unprepared schmucks who made hazy plans for their novel back in August, laid the plot aside for fine-tuning only to greet November with ‘Wot? No! Already?’

‘Well, I’m all ready for NaNoWriMo,’ I declared on 18th October, regarding the plot outline I’d scrawled in my planner. ‘That virtual trophy is mine,’ I smirked. I was probably fantasising about settling down to write at seven every morning (laptop on knee, coffee cup at my elbow), and hitting the daily word count before breakfast.

…My typing style is so frantic it resembles Edward Scissorhands…

In reality, I hate coffee — it makes me anxious and angry. My typing style is so frantic it resembles Edward Scissorhands keyboard smashing after a night out in Shoreditch.

And the last nail in the coffin of my daydream, of course, is the daily word count target. ‘1000+ words a day? Oh, no way!’ I wail, like a work-shy Dr Seuss character.

…there is still time to steel your nerves…

I now realise I assumed that, because Nanowrimo was in the future, it would never actually happen — the faulty logic of the virtuoso procrastinator.

I write this on 2nd November. Fear not, fellow stragglers, there is still time to steel your nerves, sit down and begin your experiment. Whether you’ve plotted meticulously or you’re playing by ear, you’re in with a chance. So to those who are now heading into their novelling adventure, the best of luck!


National Novel Writing Month
1st – 30th November each year. Sign-up is free. Get cracking!

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About The Author

Beth Jellicoe is a 21-year old writer, performer and Art History student at SOAS. She first published my writing in a handful of poetry magazines including Rialto, Delinquent and Cadaverine, and currently writes for the SOAS Spirit.

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