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Polyglot NaNoWriMo

united-kingdomThere’s an event that takes place every year in November called NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. The idea is that you write around 1600 words every single day for a month, without editing as you go. If you manage to do that, you end up with 50,000 words of a novel. Sure, if you’re going to edit it, you’ll probably lose a good chunk of it. Forcing yourself to write means you end up with a lot of rubbish (see other blog posts here for evidence of this), but even if you lose 25,000 words in your editing process, that leaves you with 25,000 words that you didn’t have before.

I’ve taken part in NaNoWriMo three times, and each time I’ve failed miserably. I haven’t tried it for years, but I was scrolling through Tumblr the other day (because who needs to be productive?) and I discovered a post written by a user named guillemelgat about ‘Langblr NaNoWriMo’, and my interest was piqued. I’ll post a link to the original post here, but basically, the rules are that you write 200 words per day in November and make a list of every word you have to look up in a dictionary. At the end of it, you will have a 6000 word short story, and a list of new words that you’ve learned. Both of these things are extremely attractive outcomes to me. 200 words a day seems so much more doable than 1600, even if it is in another language.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to take part! But of course, me being me, I have to make it harder for myself. So I’m going to be taking part while writing in a language that I just started learning this year… basically, just to see if I can. And that language is Faroese. I have a pretty good knowledge of the Scandinavian languages and I have studied Icelandic, so I don’t imagine it will be prohibitively difficult, but still quite a struggle. Also, Nintendo mentioned yesterday that they’re releasing a new Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch right in the middle of November, so I’ll have to make sure to write some extra so I can have a couple of days off.

But what do you think of the idea? Does it seem like something that might interest you? I’ve already started writing up a document to boost my Faroese vocabulary before the event, but I won’t actually start writing until the first of November. I might even serialise the story I end up writing and posting it here, if it’s any good after I’ve edited it. I make no promises. I’d love to hear from you guys if you’re thinking of taking part, we might even be able to encourage each other!

As always, thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next month.

– J.

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