National Novel Writing Month Is Upon Us

As some of you are no doubt aware, November is National Novel Writing Month, often shortened to Nanowrimo. Elkid did a blog post about her Nanowrimo adventures already, but seeing as we’re actually in the thick of it now, I thought I would revisit the subject.

Nanowrimo is a pretty big deal in the writing community. It’s grown steadily year after year, continuing to add exciting new features like their Young Writer’s Program. I could just gush for hours, but instead I’m going to focus a bit and give you a few reasons you should seriously consider joining us this November (it’s only the 2nd, after all).

Writers Shouldn’t Be Alone

Okay, sure. Maybe there’s some prodigy out there who, mysteriously, produces bestsellers from the comfort of their lair without ever contacting another human being. I doubt it though and, more importantly, I wouldn’t recommend it. For a number of reasons.

Moral support is always great. I know from personal experience how soothing it can be to have a support group of fellow writers around for those times when you start doubting every single word you put on the page. They know, they understand, they’ll talk you down. They’re also there to give you a friendly push when you need it. And don’t even get me started on the importance of having other writers read your work.

Deadlines Are Awesome

Recently, I’ve begun to suspect there’s a very specific formula for my success:

Task + Deadline = Finished Product

More and more, it seems like a hard deadline is the secret sauce for me. I’ve done Nanowrimo for a number of years, and I’ve never “won”. This is, in large part, because I never fully committed to the deadlines. I told myself “I’m just here for the community” or “as long as I write something everyday, who cares about the word count”. This year I’m buckling in and doing it by the book. So far, so good.

If you’re like me, maybe Nanowrimo’s rules will help you get that book out of your head and on to the page. If not, never fear, because. . .

You Can Break The Rules

Technically, Nanowrimo is writing 50,000 words in 30 days on a novel you’ve never written anything for before. But you do not need to follow those “rules”. Nanowrimo doesn’t just accept rebels, it welcomes them. They’re just as important a part of the program as the hardliners.

You Can Get Free Stuff

Or, at the very least, some discounts. There’s a whole section on the forums for supporters who offer deals to Nanowrimo participants and winners. Not to mention the pep talks you get in your Nanomail.

It’s Fun

Did I mention that I’ve never “won” Nanowrimo. I haven’t, but I’ve been doing it for over a decade now. There’s a pretty big reason for that. It’s really fun. Parties, challenges, inside jokes, it has it all. Nanowrimo is an important writing exercise for some and it’s helped a number of people achieve their goals. But it’s also a place to blow of steam and be silly.


If you’re intrigued by any of this, I seriously encourage you to give it a try. Stop by the Nanowrimo Kickoff Party at Gateway tonight. Go wander the Nanowrimo forums. Or connect with us on Facebook.

See you at the finish line.

Your friendly neighborhood storyteller,


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