November may be one of the more dull seasons with the joy of Christmas still coming up and the daylight fading away earlier and earlier each day. But this is no reason to sulk. Only few people may like to spend the more unfriendly, rainy, and windy days outside, and for those that like to stay inside where it’s cozy and warm AND have a nag or love for reading and writing, November has something exciting up it’s sleeve!
National Novel Writing Month
What is NaNoWriMo?
National Novel Writing Month is a fun opportunity to do something you may have dreamed of ever reading the first Harry Potter novel or your favorite piece of fiction: writing your own novel.
With a set deadline, the possibility to check and track your progress, and the opportunity to meet and engage with fellow writers and like-minded people for intellectual exchange, support, and pep talk if needed, the NaNoWriMo concept provides a great platform to enhance your writing, get stimulated by your own creativity, and maybe walk out of the project as an aspiring novelist. It doesn’t matter if you have written your own bigger pieces of literature already, or only fleetingly played with the thought of writing your own book one day, this project is the right one for everyone who has the blood of a writer running through their veins.
The overall goal of the event is to produce a piece of writing with 50,000 words. It starts on November 1st and ends at 11:59 PM on November 30th.
In 2013, according to the official NaNoWriMo site, 310,095 people worldwide participated in National Novel Writing Month.
Visit the official project’s page here: NANoWriMo.org
How does it work?
After registering with the official NaNoWriMo page you can start writing your novel. Throughout the process of writing, you can earn badges for progress and success, validate your novel, and exchange ideas and encouragements with your fellow writers. Additionally to the support and pep talk from others taking part in the event, you can also read back on encouraging words from already published authors to gain some confidence in your own writing capabilities.
Engage in your very own NaNoWriMo!
Of course, you don’t have to register with the site to turn November into your very own writing project month! Sometimes, all it needs is some encouragement and motivation to create fascinating, interesting, exciting, heart-warming, or tear-jerking pieces of writing. Whether you want to tackle the task of creating a full 50,000-word novel or rather like to concentrate on writing several small essays or short stories is completely up to you! After all, time schedules and ideas can clash with the goal of writing something big.
What can I do?
Here are some suggestions of what tasks you can approach or which goals you can set for your own personal Writing Month.
- Create a short-story each week with a word count of roughly 12,000 words. It doesn’t matter if they are related by topic or whether you would rather like to experiment with different genres or various writing styles. Explore a new part of yourself and find out what you like and what you are good at each week.
- Write a 1,500-word essay each day. There are topics that like to stick to our minds for days. Write down your thoughts and argumentation in essay-form to formulate them not only for yourself but maybe even for others to read. There is something exciting or interesting on the news? A new trend or topic? Write about it!
- Not a fan of essays? Write a blog or diary entry each day about the same topic stated above. Something’s stuck in your mind, or there are things you always wanted to think about in more depth? Sit down for one or two hours each day and formulate your thoughts on a piece of paper or with the help of your computer or laptop.
- Write the novel of your dreams! If you are ready to tackle the big task, then go for it! Maybe you already have an idea in mind that you always wanted to write down, or you always thought that something was missing from the books you loved to read. If that’s the case, write your very own novel. Start slow with a word count of 20,000 words or go big for a novel with 50,000 word.
If you are done writing and hold your finished collection of short stories, essays, diary entries, or your novel in hand, it is your decision what to do with it. Even though we don’t want to tell you what to do with your writing, it would be a shame to keep it all to yourself, right? Share your work, online or with your close friends and family members. Letting another person read through your work with two open eyes and an open mind can result in more ideas and proposals to make your story even better. This is, as far as content, plot holes, and confusing twists go. For the checking of grammar and spelling, you can always rely on spell checking tools that allow you to upload your written document.
The most important advice though is:
Don’t give up!
It may seem hard to tackle the tasks or goals you have set for yourself, but it always pays off to work through moments of doubt and hardship! In the end, when you have your little written pieces of art in front of you, you will be able to look back on the month spent creating them with pride!