NaNoWriMo: An Introduction

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is a non-profit program that encourages potential writers to write a 50,000-word novel in just the month of November. The program is a way to motivate writers who have never written on such a large scale to write a novel. The goal is to write fifty-thousand words (the average word count of a novel) in thirty days by writing on average 1,600 words per day. It sounds like an unthinkable undertaking, but there are no negative consequences from not finishing your novel. The main point of NaNoWriMo is to make a habit of writing every day.

I first heard about NaNoWriMo when I was eleven, and my mom had just heard about it a week before December. But nevertheless, I still ended up participating in my first NaNoWriMo. I wrote one thousand words in that week and discovered a passion for creative writing. Since then, I have participated in NaNoWriMo for six years and plan on writing a new novel this November. A great part of NaNoWriMo is that it puts you in contact with other writers and gives information on writing events near you. 

NaNoWriMo is hard. It’s a big deal to decide to write an entire novel in one month. But the beauty of NaNoWriMo is that the novel is just a first draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect or the next great American novel. The point of NaNoWriMo is to encourage people to write, even if it’s only fifty words or hundred-thousand words. If you have ever thought, “I want to write a book,” but never had the motivation or time to do so, NaNoWriMo gives you the chance to write your dream novel.

Directions for getting started with NaNoWriMo:

  1. Sign up on NaNoWriMo’s website

  2. You make a new project, set your word goal and basic information like genre, or synopsis or excerpt if you want

  3. As you write, update your word count. The website also has a handy page with your statistics for the month, such as your projected date for finishing your novel, how many words you’ve written, how many words you have left, average words per day, average words per day to finish by the end of the month (This is super helpful).

  4. There are also other activities on the website, like the word sprint. For a word sprint, you set a timer and write as much as you can in that time to bring up your word count.

Here's the link to NaNoWriMo’s website for more information