Can you write a novel?

Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? It is National Novel Writing Month, which means in the month of November a bunch of people all over the world sit down at their typewriters and computers and try to write 50,000 words. It's not a finished novel, but a first draft. Why do they do this? Probably the same reason that people try to climb mountains, or ride a bike across the country.

I bring this up because several people I know are trying to write again this November. Linda, my wife has succeeded in writing at least 50,000 words in each of the last five years. Her mother has attempted this as well with some good success. In fact I found out just a few days ago that one of my co-workers is also a closet writer and will be joining over one-hundred thousand other people this year.

I tried this two years ago, and I failed quite badly while winning at the same time. How did I achieve this? I managed to write 10,000 words which is more than I ever wrote before. I did this in a month where I took off a week for a hunting trip, and I was spending my weekends driving back and forth from Winnipeg to Winkler while dating Linda. Now 10,000 words is nowhere near the goal of 50,000 but is probably 6,000 more words than I ever wrote before in my life.

So, if you are interested in writing, go to http://nanowrimo.org and join up. There are forums where you can connect with other participants, and there will be some local write-ins too. We'll post announcements here and on http://scrlibrary.mb.ca as well.