It's almost that time of year again. When all the writers come out of their holes for the fall. In their hands: paper, pens, laptop, and of course, caffeine. That means it's almost time for NaNoWriMo! If you somehow have never heard of NaNoWriMo before, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, wherein people all across the nation, young and old, band together and commit to writing a novel in the month of November. That's roughly 1,667 words a day, for 30 days. 50,000 words in total.
This will be my third year participating in NaNoWriMo, and I hope to win this year. To "win" you must put everything you've written at the end of November into the official NaNoWriMo word count checker to make it official.
author's photo, Boho Berry
But how does one get started for NaNoWriMo? Good question. You can either be a Planner or a Pantser: you can plan out your novel in October (nicknamed Preptober) or start fresh right at the beginning of November. I've always been a planner, but it really doesn't matter, the point is to try and get 50,000 words by the end of the month.
NaNoWriMo is one of the reasons I was inspired to become an English and Writing major. I'd always been interested in writing fiction for a long period of time, and I've gotten halfway through my first novel that way. The community of people that participate in NaNoWriMo is so helpful, and there's plenty of events and gatherings if you just take the time to look in your area. I know for a fact that the English and Writing departments at most colleges (Ithaca College included) have student orientedNaNo events!
There's a really useful tool NaNoWriMo provides during November to help spark your creativity and imagination in your storytelling. Word Sprints. Now, the first year I was doing NaNoWriMo, I don't think I took full advantage of Word Sprints, and I wish I had.
What a Word Sprint is, is a timed prompt of writing session against a group of people. Usually, the NaNoWriMo staff will facilitate the Word Sprint from their Twitter account on the hour, and you have a certain amount of time to incorporate their prompt into what you're already writing. It's an easy way to get more words and in turn get you closer to winning.
Photo by NeONBRAND
For all the people out there who say, "I'm not a writer," or, "I'm not good at writing!" I'm here to tell you that you're wrong. There is always something that you have to say, it doesn't even need to be coherent, just the act of writing things down can help you become a better writer, which is a good skill to have. You choose to put the pressure on yourself to write in NaNoWriMo, even if it's just a casual project, it's still important.
So tell a group of your friends, and get writing! November is coming up soon!
If you decide to participate, you can add me on NaNoWriMo as obsessivenatured. I'd love to connect with more writers and answer any questions you may have.