You may have seen posts on social media this month made by frenzied people posting about writing hundreds, even thousands of words and hashtagging the whole experience #NaNoWriMo. And if you haven’t, you might now be thinking, “NaNoWriMo? What is this nonsense word and what does it have to do with writing?” Here’s a primer on everything you need to know about it (and if you’re a lover of books, words, and writing, you need to know about it, so definitely keep reading).
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What IS NaNoWriMo?
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s an annual, worldwide writing bonanza that takes place every November (with supplementary “Camp NaNoWriMo” events that take place during the summer). It’s a challege: to write 50,000 words in 30 days.
Why 50,000 words?
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Because that’s the official amount of words a written work needs in order to be considered a novel.
Why should I do it?
You should participate in NaNoWriMo if you love writing. You should participate if you’ve always felt like you had a great story inside of you and it’s dying to get out. You should participate if you’ve always wanted to try creative writing outside of your English class but you’ve never gotten around to pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and doing it.
Okay, but that’s just why I should write. Why should I write this month?
You should jump on the NaNoWriMo writing train if you’re the kind of person who thrives when there’s a group dynamic. If telling people that you’re taking a challenge and going out to events with other writers will motivate you, then NaNoWriMo is for you. And speaking of those other writers, the NaNoWriMo site will connect you with other WriMos in your area and help you find write-ins (group writing events) in your hometown. It’s a great way to meet other people who share your passion and a great excuse to take a break from Netflix and Chill to NaNoWriMo and NO CHILL.
Isn’t it too late to start this year?
No! You can start NaNoWriMo any day in November. And while it’s true that the later you start, the harder it will be to “win,” don’t forget that even if you only write one-fifth of the words you set out to, you’ll have ten thousand words written. Heck, if you only write one-fiftieth of the words you set out to, you’ll have a thousand words that you wouldn’t have had otherwise, so there’s nothing to lose.
Does it cost anything to sign up?
No! All you need is an internet connection and the will to write and you are good to go.
What do I get if I actually write 50,000 words?
NaNoWriMo winners don’t get any grand prizes. The prize is the fact that you have 50,000+ words of a book written and that you know you’ve done something great that you can be proud of. But, if that’s not enough for you, winners also get an email full of coupon codes and offers that appeal to writers of all ages, thanks to NaNoWriMo’s awesome sponsors.
Fine. You convinced me. How can I sign up?
Go to NaNoWriMo’s website and create an account. Fill in some basic info about your book (if you want to — it’s not required and doesn’t impact your ability to participate or win at all if you choose to leave that info blank) and get started. It’s literally THAT simple. No go, stop reading the internet for a little bit and get started creating something great.
Featured Image Source: NaNoWriMo