Students aim to write 2,000 words daily
November 16, 2009 —
These days, creative writing juniors Kelly Mundt and Jen Faber write around 2,000 words a day. But they aren’t writing papers.
Sometime between classes, homework and college life, they’re also drafting novels.
Mundt and Faber are just two of thousands of writers across the country working in honor of National Novel Writing Month — or, as fans call it, NaNoWriMo.
Participants start writing on Nov. 1, with the goal to write 50,000 words, or about 175 pages, by Nov. 30.
Participants stick to their daily duty and use a Web site called NaNoWriMo.org to update word counts and track the progress of their friends.
NaNoWriMo also sends out weekly e-mails of encouragement to keep participants motivated.
Faber heard about the event from a friend and brought it up in her editing class with English professor Fenobia Dallas.
Mundt said contenders have to write roughly 1,700 words a day to keep up, but Dallas challenges them to write 2,000 words to stay on top of the game.
“It doesn’t sound like a lot,” Faber said, “but it is, when you actually get down to do it.”
Faber and Mundt both said that their biggest obstacle is trying to find time to write every day.
Faber said she carries her story with her at all times.
She works on it before and after class and even during breaks. Her best time to write, she said, is at night when she can focus.
She said she likes to listen to the score from The Last of the Mohicans.
“It gets me psyched to write,” Faber said. “It’s like I’m embarking on an adventure.”
But inspiration can come in many forms.
Mundt went to a Write-In at Bay City’s Brewtopia with other local NaNo- WriMo writers. She said that every so often they would do what they called “word wars”: they would pick a certain amount of time to write, and whoever wrote the most words would win.
Mundt said that she didn’t get a lot of work done, but the experience was still interesting.
You learn that there are other people that are crazy — it’s not just you,” she said.
Both Mundt and Faber said their ultimate goal is to just finish.
“I am hoping when I get done that, with a lot of polish, it can potentially be published,” Faber said. “But mostly I just want to finish.”
“With everything going on in my life, I would’ve never thought I’d get past 15,000 words,” Mundt said, “but I’m going to hit 24,000 tonight. It’s so exciting.”
To maintain daily momentum, Faber had a little advice.
“Just keep writing,” she said. “Even if it’s crap, keep writing.”