NaNoWriMo - What Is It And How To Do It

NaNoWriMo - What Is It And How To Do It

Ditch No Shave November for a new monthly tradition

What the holy ham is NaNoWriMo? Why are only certain words capitalized? It looks like a middle schooler's internet username.

Actually, NaNoWriMo,which stands for stands for National Writing Novel Month is a nonprofit organization dedicated to amplifying as many novel voices (no pun intended) as possible. The rules? Hit 50,000 words by November 30 at 11:59 PM. You write whatever your hearts desires and type away with your early onset carpal tunnel syndrome hands.

You may be thinking as if I need any more writing in your life. But trust me, this is the fun kind of writing. 50,000 words in 30 days. Only 1,667 words a day. Easy, right?


Remember, your novel can be about anything you want, and this is only the first draft of potentially many if you continue to edit your novel after November.

The word count is an intimidating feat, no doubt, but I hope it does not steer you away from this amazing opportunity that only visits once a year. If you are feeling the writer's block, check out NaNoWriMo's website that offers ways to help you hit that 50,000th word. For access to every resource on their site, make an account and sign in. It's free!

After setup, the features are endless! One tool they mention is the Writer's Digest "30 Days to a Finished Novel" Kit complete with e-books and Webinars on how to stay focused during the month. If you need to get out of the chicken coop that is probably you wrapped in a blanket in you room, NaNoWriMo hosts an event in San Francisco called the Night of Writing Dangerously on November 19th. If you do not live in the area, fret not, NaNoWriMo provides a region search where you can look for local write ins and NaNoWriMo writer meetups. It is a great way to meet new people, clear your brain of any mental fog, and ideally find a moment of inspiration. They also have a shop where you can really become part of the NaNoWriMo family adorning their latest merchandise.

Deep breath, you got this. You have no obligation to go to a meetup or buy anything. If you work best as a hermit dedicated to a certain spot in a library, with nothing but mumbled conversation reaching your eardrums, then by all means. Even you hit 49,999 words, 30,000 words, 25,000 words or even 10,000 words, those words are your own. You wrote a novel, and that warrants a little bit of celebration, no?

In order to have a celebration, you have to start writing first.

So, what are you waiting for? Start writing!

Cover Image Credit: Eddy Luten on Flickr Creative Commons

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