Archive | November, 2011

Happy National Novel Writing Month!

1 Nov

November is National Novel Writing Month, and you can tell how special I think this month is since I’ve broken our nearly month-long hiatus from blogging.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) was started in 1999 with approximately 21 participants. Last year, over 200,000 people signed up to participate. The goal of the month is to write at least 50,000 words of a new novel from November 1st to midnight on November 30th. This is my 5th year participating, but I am yet to actually meet the goal. Some people have asked me what you get if you complete your novel during the month of November. I tell them ‘nothing’. So then they ask, “What’s to keep you from just entering random words to meet your 50,000 word goal?” Wait, what?

OK, so maybe I know some sketchy people, but the point of this month isn’t about winning a contest. It’s to stimulate creativity. I know personally as the amateur writer that I try to be, I over analyze everything I write, trying to be the next great writer, but NaNoWriMo gives you no time to quibble over such details. Instead, it allows you to do a process I like to call ‘thought dumping’ where you just write down everything you want to say and worry about polishing it in the editing stage (I do this a lot when I write journal articles). Also to help inspire your creativity during the month, the NaNoWriMo website has forums where you can discuss tips and strategies for writing, local “chapters” which sometimes host NaNoWriMo write-ins, and even a section with pep talks from real authors with their advice and thoughts on writing a novel.

So if you’re longing for a creative outlet, I highly recommend you check out NaNoWriMo.org.

Happy writing!

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