I tweeted a few days back that I’d be participating in JuNoWriMo. Then I got a handful of tweets asking what the heck I was talking about. So what is it?
JuNoWriMo is a motivational tool to write a novel (50,000 words) in thirty days. You’ve heard of National Novel Writing Month, right? (If not, go to the NaNoWriMo site to find out more.) June Novel Writing Month is the exact same thing, but it happens in June instead of November.
So why June, you might be wondering. The reason is because that’s the month I picked. That’s right; JuNoWriMo exists because I made it up. After the hype on Twitter, I decided to Google it to see if anyone else had thought to do a NaNoWriMo style challenge in June. They had. I can’t take credit for being the first one who thought of it. But I found out that even though it had been done in the past (and called various names), it wasn’t a consistent event. The most recent occurrence I found of people talking about it was a few years back. I searched but I couldn’t find anyone doing it this year. Until now.
What’s in it for Me?
If you’re wondering why you should participate, there is a plethora of reasons. But instead of telling you what’s in it for you, I’m going to tell you what’s in it for me. Then, you can decide if you relate to any of my motivations. Why would I go to the trouble of coming up with this weird spin-off acronym? After all, if I wanted to write a book in June, I could just do it, right?
I consider myself a serious writer. I’ve written two books via NaNoWriMo with a strict deadline and two other books on my own time. I much prefer the former. I thrive under pressure. My free time is limited, so I’m always looking for things that force me to take advantage of every moment. JuNoWriMo does this. As an author, one of my goals is to write two new books a year. November gets me one. But for me, one NaNoWriMo a year isn’t enough. That’s why by doing JuNoWriMo, I’m pushing myself to make sure I get that second novel written.
The social aspect of JuNoWriMo is a big factor for me. I have a competitive streak and an interest in meeting more writers. This challenge feeds both of those desires. We’ll have regular word wars and word sprints where you can race with other writers to write the most words in, say, twenty minutes. I absolutely love word sprints! I never knew writing could feel so face-paced until I tried one. And best of all, doing word wars seriously boosted my hourly word count. It’s a win-win situation.
Through NaNoWriMo last year alone I met dozens of new writers. I loved that it was so easy to make new friends, find out about cool blogs and expand my Twitter reach. There was always someone to chat with, whether I wanted to vent about a story problem or whine about not being in the mood to write or be congratulated for kicking butt on word count. It’s like having a community of writers surrounding you at all times.
Another reason you might want to participate in #JuNoWriMo is that I’m also hoping to feature some of the authors on the website—maybe you. It would be a way to highlight some of the writers and mention their current project. If you’re like me, any opportunity to get your name out there is pretty motivating. I’ll let you know when I’m taking submissions for those feature articles.
Are You in?
I’ve already got a handful of people on board with the idea. I’ve got a website design in progress (http://www.junowrimo.com) so we’ll have a place to record word counts, compare and be encouraged by other writers. That site isn’t ready yet, but as soon as it is, you can bet I’ll let you know.
In the meantime, if you want to be on my radar, there’s one thing you need to do. I’ve created a Twitter list of JuNoWriMo participants. If you are interested, comment on this post with your Twitter handle or Tweet me and I’ll add you to the list. The only requirement is that you are a real person. I can add you even if you’re not sure if you want to do it yet. That way you’ll have a way to keep tabs on what’s happening. You can follow that list here. You may also want to follow me (@beccajcampbell) and Anna Howard (@annaavenhoward) if you aren’t already. That way you’ll have the inside scoop. Anna is my partner in creating this thing. It’s going to be awesome. Shout out to her for the team effort! Drop by her blogs at http://dailyikon.com/ and http://wayfaringartist.com/.
I can’t wait for June! Be sure to let me know in the comments if you’re up for the challenge!
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