NaNoWriMo On The Horizon
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NaNoWriMo On The Horizon

Now’s the chance to take on this amazing challenge.

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NaNoWriMo On The Horizon
NaNoWriMo

Since 2010, I have been participating in NaNoWriMo. For those who are unaware, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, an annual event that occurs during the month of November. As its title suggests, the event is all about writing a novel in a month – specifically a 50,000-word novel.

My first year as a participant, I was in ninth grade, and I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. I had no idea what I was writing about, no idea how to even go about writing a novel, and very little idea how the site worked. I was writing it on my family’s desktop computer, and at just about 25,000 words, I could think of nothing else to write, and gave up.

2010 was my first year participating in NaNo, and it was the only year I ever lost.

The next year, I got more involved in the online community fostered by the NaNo website, and I wrote with friends. The year after, I made a little paper advent calendar – which took far too long, and which I still have – and got a NaNoWriMo travel mug. I also joined a local writing group I encountered through my region, which I still attend.

As I continued to do NaNo, I found more and more ways to make myself successful. I tried different kinds of planning, made checklists, raced my writing group members, and even got many of my friends involved. This year, all of my roommates are participating with me, as well as several members of our campus’ Creative Writing club.

But what’s so great about this event?

In all honesty, it’s absolute torture. You have to sit down in front of your computer every day and write something brand new. You write words on words on words and feel like you’ve barely made any progress. You pump yourself full of caffeine and sugar and put off assignment after assignment. You even go as far as to ignore your family on Thanksgiving day, because you’re so close to finishing your novel.

Yet, when you reach the end of your novel or your word count, you are suddenly invigorated. For thirty whole days, you’ve dedicated yourself to just sitting down and writing, grammar be damned. It may be awful, but it is 100% yours, and there is nothing in this life that can match that feeling. It is beautiful because, suddenly, you have grown as a writer and achieved something more than you had before. Even though this will be my seventh NaNo, I know I will continue to grow and achieve more than I have in past years.

The most beautiful thing about NaNoWriMo is that anyone can do it, and you can do it however you want. For example, my only roommate who is not a Creative Writing major is an Early Childhood Education major. She never thought she could be the kind of person to do NaNo, and now she has printed out a list of hundreds of short writing prompts to create a compilation of stories for this November. Despite being a very unlikely person to participate in such an event, she has taken on the challenge alongside the rest of us, and I could not be more proud of her.

So if you’re a little wary about participating in NaNo, this is your chance. You don’t have to win; you can even give up halfway through like I did in 2010. But take the leap. You won’t regret it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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