Thursday, October 18, 2007

Countdown to National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo 2007 iconPart I: Do you NaNo?

In two weeks it will be November first and the beginning of the annual National Novel Writing Month. It seems incomprehensible that there is anyone who has not heard of NaNoWriMo, as it is referred to in shorthand, but in case here’s a quick thumbnail sketch.

NaNoWriMo, according to the website’s history page, started in July of 1999 with a group of 21 friends in the San Francisco area. Through a process that can only be thought of in terms of accidental viral marketing, NaNoWriMo has grown to a year-round 501(c)3 nonprofit that hosts a month-long novel writing venture once a year in November. For the upcoming month of writing the administrators anticipate that more than 100,000 individuals will sign up to try their hand at writing a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days.

Why? Why would anyone be interested in writing a novel in a month? When we remember how long it took J. K. Rowling to get the last installment of Harry Potter to the publisher, it seems like a joke on the potential serious writer. But the founders and organizers, as well as participants’ testimonials, bear out that the process of speedwriting a novel has a profound impact on the writer; and how they see their life, creativity and what is possible. The point is not to produce publication-ready manuscripts; rather the point is to set aside a set timeframe to get down on paper (or on disk) the book that everybody carries around in their head.

So we’re back to the question; do you NaNo? Have you ever thought about writing a novel but just never set down to do it? Starting November first you can set aside 30 days to write down a 50,000 word novel in the company of hundreds of thousands of like-minded writing hopefuls. NaNoWriMo allows you to labor and laugh and even share a tear or two with fellow aspiring novel-writers in your community and around the globe. While the writer must write his or her novel on their own, they do not need to do it in isolation and various modes allow writers to encourage, support, and commiserate with each other throughout the month.

Now is the time to decide, not on Halloween night, will you or won’t you be a NaNoWri this year?

Coming: Part II The NaNo nuts and bolts

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1 comment:

Pieces of Me said...

Nanowrimo is such a wonderful initiative. I did it last year; it's really worth it even if what you write won't get published. What's magical is that one really feels part of something special.-it's the kick-off adrenalin a lot of writers look for.
Now I'm looking at last year's certificate and wondering: "will I ever edit that novel?"
is my latest book project.

Thanks for reminding me about NANOWRIMO