N, for me, has to be for NaNoWriMo– the National Novel Writing Month. The reason why is best summed up in this extract from the “acknowledgements ” I made at the start of my debut novel “It Can’t Be You”.

“Wishes remain wishes if no catalyst translates them to purposeful actions. My wish to write found the right catalyst in the National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo 2009 gave me the impetus to write 50,000 words which formed the bedrock of this my debut novel. I am grateful to the many donors and the organisers of NaNoWriMo for providing me with such a wonderful platform to demonstrate my interest in writing”

If by chance, you don’t know about it, the National Novel Writing Month, is a competition in which novelists and wanna be novelists attempt to write 50,000 words in the calendar month of November each year. The word “National” has become a misnomer since now it is truly an international event. But when Chris Baty started it way back in 1999, in which year there were only 21 participants, I guess “National” was appropriate because all the participants were from the US. I believe there were six winners that year!

When I did NaNoWriMo for the first time in November 2009, I was one amongst some 32,000 “winners”  who successfully completed out of over 167, 000 participants from all over the world.  What motivated me to do NaNoWriMo? I read somewhere that a few successful participants had gone on to have their novels published. I found this tremendously exciting and wanted to be part of this illustrious group.

I am delighted that I achieved this goal when It Can’t Be You was published in November 2010. I became arguably the first person from out of India to have a debut novel published from a debut effort in NaNoWriMo. This is an achievement I am very proud of.

In November 2010, I decided that I must participate in NaNoWriMo once again. I was very busy with the launch of my debut novel but I still made time to write 50,000 words and successfully complete NaNoWriMo for the second successive year. This year I was one amongst 37.500 winners from the 200,500 who participated. I hope that this effort will be published in due course of time. This novel is called “Lucky For Some, Thirteen”. I hope to have it published by the end of 2011 as it now stands completed at about 87,000 words.

NaNoWriMo has given me the opportunity to interact with so many “Wrimos” as we participants are called. There are some very active forums there from which I have gained a lot of insight. It has made new friends for me from many different countries. Many are much younger to me, some have successfully participated in NaNoWriMo for many years, others haven’t manged to complete one as yet! It’s a diverse group out there.

I particularly like the forums for specific genres. I frequent, for example, the “genre lounge” for “Mystery, Thriller & Suspense” but there are many others like Fantasy, Chick Lit, Historical Fiction and so on. Another interesting concept is forums for different ages groups ranging from Teens to Over 50s. This makes for healthy interaction with others with similar issues and aspirations.

I know you are awfully busy but plan to participate in NaNoWriMo come November 2011, I am sure you will love the experience!

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