Football season has begun. Wrestling never ended. The Super Bowl will happen sometime in February or March. Wrestlemania will take place in late March or early April.

October has arrived and with it, National Novel Writing Month prep season. For writers, this month is our playoffs. October is our Road to Wrestlemania. The NaNoWriMo site has been relaunched, the countdown is on, and everyone is beginning to consider the ins and outs of their participation for the coming November. We are getting ready for Writingmania, y’all.

I can’t remember the first time I ever heard of NaNo, but over the course of my years as a writer in groups and forums, I’ve seen praise for the event and I’ve also seen a lot of criticism. The criticism stems mostly from the fact that it is a honor system, that there is no tangible reward for completing the challenge, and that real writers write year around and this is just stupid and for posers.

As the saying goes, haters gonna hate.

I’ve been writing for fun since I was in 5th grade. I majored in English. I have freelanced for a real newspaper. I keep up this blog and the previous one over at Blogspot. If I’m not a real writer, then someone has an extremely pretentious definition of the word. But in regards to National Novel Writing Month…

None of that matters! Not when it comes to the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s the fantastic thing about this. It’s open to one and all. Seasoned writers, newbies to the craft, and everything in-between. And it’s friendly! It’s a supportive environment where people cheer each other on as we try to do the thing that professional authors do every single day.

We should rename it Author Life Appreciation Month. Seriously. We’re not responsible for editing, copy edits, picking out cover art, or dealing with marketing and royalties. We get to do the fun part of writing and that’s it. It doesn’t have to be good. It doesn’t even have to make sense afterwards. The point here is to just DO IT! And have a little fun while being over-caffeinated.

I wrote a 50,000 word novel last year during the month of November. I haven’t really looked at it since November 30, 2014, because it was hastily thrown together and not that good. But it was fun to write. I celebrated with a margarita at my favorite restaurant when it was done. I realized there are other writers in my area, even if I didn’t keep up with them like I wish I had.

The experience was just wonderful and one I am eager to repeat. I keep waiting for the folks in my region to reach out with some info for write-ins. My goal this year is to actually attend one or two. As for the actual writing, I’m still debating on what I want to do for this year’s NaNoWriMo.

I started a story while I was on vacation that I’m 125 pages into and well on track to finish before November 1st. I’m writing it completely by hand and loving every minute of it. Writing by hand is beautiful in its simplicity. It’s cheap and easily portable, lacking a need for a charger or occasional updates. I’m actually considering being a NaNo rebel and making my goal a 200 page handwritten story by November 30th. I think I could do it, with the right story.

That’s another thing. What story should I write? If you want to participate but are having that same question ping itself against your mind over and over again, never fear. You are not alone. We’ve got a while until November 1st, we can figure out what to write together!

Author Life Appreciation Month is coming. Writingmania. National Novel Writing Month. 50,000 words in 30 days. Or be a rebel and make your own goal for the 30 days. Let’s do this!

Consider this your Royal Rumble. Kick off of the playoffs. Whatever. Go sign up on nanowrimo.org!

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