National Novel Writing Month

By Tiffany Battle on October 28, 2016

Next Tuesday marks the first day of National Novel Writing Month, otherwise referred to as “NaNoWriMo”.

The entire month of November is sacred for writers everywhere, and specifically for “anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel”.

What I admire most about this event is how necessary it is. The first rule of being a writer is to write, and yet it’s often the hardest rule to abide by. Maybe life gets in the way of your writing time, maybe you can’t figure out the next sentence of your story, or maybe you can’t even figure out where to start. Whatever the reason, writing can be unbearably easy to set aside.

The first thing I think whenever I finish reading a really good book is that I want to write an equally good novel. Or short story. Or what have you. I just want to get my thoughts onto paper, shape it into a cohesive story, and perhaps someday inspire some other little reader to write their own novel. But I have to write mine first…after I finish the laundry, after I finish studying…after I finish binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy.

You get the point. Maybe the writing process itself isn’t as hard as mustering up the motivation to start.

This is where NaNoWriMo comes in.

Starting November 1st, writers will unite in their conquest to write the Next Great American Novel or whatever. The end goal is 50,000 words, the word-count of a typical novel. This allows those seriously interested in reaching this word-count goal to plan out how much they intend to write each day.

The website offers pep talks, forums for writers to chat with each other about their work, and an easy way to track your progress.

On their website, you can see a list of the hundreds of writers whose novel came alive during NaNoWriMo. This isn’t to say that their novels were completed by the end of the month, but rather the first draft of their novel was created. The editing process does not and should not take place during November. The event is about getting your story out of your head and onto paper. It’s much harder to create a vivid story with dynamic characters if you are worried about syntax and grammar.

Writing can be an isolating activity, but NaNoWriMo brings writers of all ages, skill levels, and genres together to engage with and support each other.


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