November is upon us and that means cold weather, hot coffee, stamppot, and noveling. Yes, noveling. This year I’ll be joining thousands of people around the world as we each attempt to write a 50,000 word book in 30 days as part of National Novel Writing Month.
My first attempt at NaNoWriMo three years ago was when I was still in the United States where the event originated. I wrote in the sort of frenzied zeal you can only drum up when you don’t know what you’re doing and no one has told you that you’re doing it wrong. It was a terrible novel, but it ended up over 80,000 words long and a ton of fun to create.
When we moved to the Netherlands, much of my writing energy shifted over to blogging, but I still made an effort to write some short stories last November about a hard-boiled detective cat and his raccoon sidekick. This novel was less successful, but I was excited to discover that NaNoWriMo is really the “World Novel Writing Month” and that the Netherlands had a strong showing. Every year the various regions are ranked by word count and the combined Holland & Belgium group had a strong showing despite our relatively small region size.
This year I know of several people here in Maastricht, as well as many other places in the Netherlands, writing their 2010 novels. Both my husband and I are participating this year, but there is always room for more so I challenge you dear reader to take on NaNoWriMo and add to the Holland & Belgium region word count. You’re only a couple days behind.
If you want to join the fun, sign up on the NaNoWriMo website and join the Europe :: Holland & Belgium region. This will give you access to the forum where all the local writers can communicate and arrange meet-ups. The forum is kept in both English and Dutch, so don’t feel intimidated about posting in the language you find most comfortable. Several write-ins have been planned throughout the Netherlands and Belgium, including a regular Thursday write-in in Maastricht and even a “traveling” write-in for people who prefer to write on the train. If you want to “friend” other writers, you can do that as well. I’m “locusta” on the site.
Once you’ve signed up, just start writing on a new project (officially a novel, but many people use the time to write for their blog or to write nonfiction). Keep your caffeinated beverage of choice near at hand and be sure to add your word count to the site and help push our region up the ranks. Happy Writing!
This article was originally published on Maastricht Region to Live.