By Samantha Corr
For any of you who don’t know, November is considered National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a novel of 50,000 words in the time span of one month. Starting November 1, you can join in with all the other writers in the competition of word counts and completing your novel. NaNoWriMo is a way for people to connect and inspire each other to begin and complete writing a novel.
You begin by signing up on the website nanowrimo.org. There you begin writing, frequently checking into the website to update your word count. Updating your word count is important to help your region compete against the rest of the world and to keep yourself inspired to write.
This is a friendly competition and a way for you to challenge yourself to write a novel that you have been trying to start or finish. If you need inspiration or a reason to start writing, this is it.
Registering through the website allows you to connect with other writers though Facebook, Twitter, blogs and even events in your community. Participating gives writers the chance to interact with other writers, where they can talk through their plot or character development and more importantly, writer’s block. I have participated in live Twitter chats where anyone can join in to ask other writers or even published authors any of their questions, offer suggestions, tips and even to challenge each other.
The organization also provides blogs and forums to help writers with their prep work, beginning in September and October. There is a growing list of articles on anything from “Rules for Fantastic World-Building” to “Prompts to Trigger Character Building” and even videos to talk you through the long process of writing.
Personally, I began writing participating in November 2013 when some of my favorite authors were posting on Twitter about their “sprints” and word counts, using the hashtag #NaNoWriMo. They would challenge their followers to join in with them at a specific time, say 4:05 p.m., to see how many words they could write in anywhere from a few minutes to a half hour. Of course, I had to look up what this was. I was so impressed that authors were interacting with their readers that I signed up to join in. It gave me a chance to interact with some of my favorite authors, maybe while they are even writing my next favorite book. We share our word counts and congratulate each other. Writing becomes a lot more fun knowing that someone else is working with you and pushing you. When the task becomes particularly daunting, it’s very helpful to have the community supporting you.
I am not looking to be a published author anytime soon; I have yet to finish an entire novel. But I enjoy being a part of the writing community that the organization created, and I’ll continue to write just for fun. Maybe one day I’ll go back to one of these started novels and get the chance or the inspiration to finish it.