As summer ends and fall approaches, those of us who are regular NaNoWriMo writers begin to plan for our month of committed writing. We are jotting down ideas as they come to us, and making notes to help springboard ourselves into November with all our guns a blazing.
People who have never heard of NaNoWriMo are always surprised that it is not only people who want to be published authors who use this month to create 50,000 word manuscripts. Family historians, dedicated diarists, people working on their PhD–anyone who wants or needs a month dedicated to getting a particular thing written will do so in November. More people do this during November than you would think–about half of our WriMos in my regional area are journaling or writing their theses. The support of the group really helps the graduate students stay focused, and it also bolsters those who are diarists and encourages them to write more about their thoughts and philosophies.
I’ve been asked many times what I see as the differences between journaling and noveling. (Sorry, word-nazis–I know, I know! I just invented that word but hey, why not loosen up a bit and have a little fun with language? Willie Shakespeare did it all time!)
Anyway, journaling is keeping a diary. You do this on a daily basis, or at least frequently. According to Tiny Buddha “Journaling can help with personal growth and development. By regularly recording your thoughts you will gain insight into your behaviors and moods.” You start where you are in life at that moment, and for ten or fifteen minutes a day, you write stream of consciousness. This is an awesome way to jump-start your brain.
Noveling is telling lies, keeping them straight, and making the world believe it until the last page. Again, William Shakespeare was awesome at this, and he put his work into the form of plays and sonnets, which were the most accessible media of the time for the common people.
How many words did William Shakespeare invent? According to Shakespeare Online Dot Com: “The English language owes a great debt to Shakespeare. He invented over 1700 of our common words by changing nouns into verbs, changing verbs into adjectives, connecting words never before used together, adding prefixes and suffixes, and devising words wholly original. … For a more in-depth look at Shakespeare’s coined words, please click here.”
Whether you are journaling or noveling, the important thing is to do it every day. Write for as long as you can when you can, and that will build your ‘writing’ muscles. If I dedicated 3 hours a day to just writing stream of conscious, I will chunk out 2500 to 3000 words–about half of which are mis-keyed and misspelled, but hey, no one is perfect. Some words I invent–and some words invent me, but either way, I love words.