November is a month that is often just spent preparing for the big Christmas month just around the corner. However, this month stands out for many authors, future authors and dream writers as the biggest month of the year.
NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is as its name suggests. It begins on November 1 and ends on November 30. The idea was conceived in July of 1999 by Chris Baty and 20 of his friends in the San Francisco area.
“We wanted to write novels for the same dumb reasons twentysomethings start bands. Because we wanted to make noise,” explains NaNoWriMo’s website.
As its website explains, the first year was difficult, but, surprisingly, fun. It became clear that this small group of people needed to expand this opportunity to others. The following year, NaNoWriMo was changed to November in hopes that more writers would stay inside because of the dropping temperatures.
Rules were created as well. Writers must start from scratch, books can’t be co-authored and they must be novels.
Last year, NaNoWriMo had around 200,500 participants in over 40 countries. It has become a program that many schools have brought into their curriculum and groups around the world have dedicated themselves to.
Participating in NaNoWriMo begins with one thing – desire. Desire must be present for one to accomplish such a huge task. Novels must be 50,000 words. That averages to about 1,600 words that need to be written each day in order to finish by the last day of November.
“You have to have a lot of motivation and a lot of time. If you don’t have time, don’t do it,” said participant Sarah Simmons.
NaNoWriMo participants can find helpful tools and pep-talks online. They can connect with other writers who are participating as well.
On November 20th the program will be having a write-a-thon fundraiser in San Francisco where writers can write for 6 hours straight and help the program to keep going.
To get started, sign up at www.nanowrimo.com with your story in mind. There you can begin writing and set up a word count. You can receive emails from other writers to encourage you along the way. You can also find writing events that will be held near you to keep your hope alive.
“Once you accomplish it the first time it is easier to do it again and again,” Simmons said.