November is National Novel Writing Month

Bekah Redinger, Staff Writer

Every November, aspiring authors from all over the world have tackled a momentous task-writing a novel. Over the course of thirty days, authors write 50,000 words, or 1,667 words per day. National Novel Writing Month, commonly referred to as NaNoWriMo, had over 325,000 participants complete novels in 2014. NaNoWriMo has inspired many writers, over 250 of whom have had their novels published. Notable authors who have participated in NaNoWriMo include Marissa Meyer, author of The Lunar Chronicles, Rainbow Rowell, author of Fangirl, and Sara Gruen, the author of Water for Elephants.

50,000 words is no small burden to take on, especially in the time period of only a month. For the average writer, it might add up to anywhere from three to five hours of work per day. And there are many highs and lows of writing, just like anything else. An author may notice a plot hole halfway through the story, lose inspiration, or be overly prone to procrastination. Many people will testify, however, that the noveling process is very fun, despite every problem. A founder, Chris Batey, describes how, during the first year of NaNo, “Fun was something we hadn’t expected. Pain? Sure. Embarrassment? Yes. Crippling self-doubt followed by a quiet distancing of ourselves from the entire project? You bet. But fun? Fun was a revelation.”

NaNoWriMo has many programs to assist in their author’s creativity process. One of the programs is the Young Writer’s Program, the operation that allows children ages 17 and under to write novellas or short stories based on their personal story-telling ability. In 2014, there were over 81,000 participants who reached their word count. Camp NaNoWriMo is another important program that inspires writers to complete writing projects. During April and July, participants set their own word count goal and attempt to finish any personal writing projects, regardless of whether or not it is a novel format. Come Write In is their program connecting libraries and other spaces to participants. There are currently 849 Come Write In locations. The “Now What? Months” inspire writers who have completed novels to edit their projects. Also, during November there are many pep talks available from published authors and “NaNo Coaches”.

Along with those are the NaNoWriMo forums where authors collaborate and encourage each other to keep writing. Forums include “NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul”, “Character Cafe” and “NaNo Soundtracks”.

National Novel Writing Month is one of the most well known programs in the writing community. It has helped countless people to push themselves further than they ever imagined they could go and to create things that they never thought they could. For 16 years, NaNoWriMo has helped people to achieve their dreams, improve their writing skills, and change their views on writing forever.