The most challenging month of the year for writers across the world begins in one and a half days. On November First, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, begins.
NaNoWriMo is an internet-based challenge that encourages writers to write 50,000 words or more in just thirty days.
Chris Baty started the project in July 1999 with 21 participants in the San Francisco Bay area. The project has grown to a large nonprofit organization. By 2015, 431,626 people participated (633 different regions). Of those participants, more than 40,000 won, meaning that they successfully met and verified the 50,000 word minimum.
The NaNoWriMo Rules:
Since NaNoWriMo is used to get people writing, the rules are kept broad and straightforward:
- Writing starts at 12:00: a.m. on November 1 and ends 11:59:59 p.m. on November 30, local time.
- No one is allowed to start early and finish 30 days from that start point.
- Novels must reach a minimum of 50,000 words before the end of November. These words can either be a complete novel of 50,000 words or the first 50,000 words of a novel to be completed later.
- Planning and extensive notes are permitted, but no material written before the November 1 start date can go into the body of the novel.
- Participants’ novels can be on any theme, genre of fiction, and language. Everything from fanfiction, which uses trademarked characters, to novels in poem format, and metafiction is allowed.
To sign up for your National Novel Writing Month or to learn more visit the website: nanowrimo.org.
On Saturday, I met with a group of local writers who are also participating in NaNoWriMo. We all met through our passion for writing and competing in NaNoWriMo through our Facebook group: LubbockWriMos. We discussed out writing projects and caught up on what each of us have been doing since we last saw each other. For some it was the first meeting they had attended or the first time that they had met some of the participants. Many of us fit the typical writer stereotype of being introverts who do not socialize much.
Before I joined the LubbockWriMos group which I found through NaNoWriMo participation, I had no idea there was such a large number of writers in my city. I didn’t know there were so many people out there who were like me. Who enjoyed the same kinds of things as me and whose brains worked the same strange, creative way as mine.
I think it is so important for writers to find a group of writing friends. The support and creative mojo that you get from spending time with other writers. They can be a great source of inspiration and motivation. They can help you find resources and connections that you need to further your career. They can help you work through writing blocks and self-doubts.
That is the best thing that participating in National Novel Writing Month has done for me. Connecting me with people I would never have met and befriended otherwise.
Are you participating in National Novel Writing Month? Is this your first time participating or are you a NaNoWriMo vet? What has NaNoWriMo meant to you? Do you have a writing group that you meet with or at least one or two writing friends? Tell me in the comments!
If you are participating add me as a writing buddy! My username is: Mhillstrom3168. Be sure to comment your username so I know who you are, and I can add you back.
Until next time,
Write on, Writers, and Good Luck to all the NaNoWriMo Participants!