The Lowdown on National Novel Writing Month

So, there’s a 50/50 chance on whether or not you’ve heard of National Novel Writing Month. If you’re a writer or you’re interested in writing or you just love books, that chance rises considerable. It doesn’t matter though, because whether or not you’ve heard it, I’ll be breaking it down to the basics: right here, right now.

National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo, is a writing event that takes place during the entire month of November. The event, which I’m sure you’ve gathered from the name, is the challenge of writing an entire novel within a month. Now wait, if you’re a writer who was totally interested in this up until that last sentence, don’t freak out. NaNoWriMo puts it a little more eloquently on their website:

“National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.”

Their use of the word ‘goal’ instead of ‘challenge’ is rather comforting, but anyway—yes, you read it right. 50,000 words by November 30th. There are novels shorter and longer than that, but as far as NaNoWriMo goes, you need that 50K to win. And yes, there are prizes, which you can read about on their site.

Of course, past all of these bells and whistles, the true purpose of NaNoWriMo is to write. Write well, write terribly, write one to many metaphors, it doesn’t matter. National Novel Writing Month wants writers—who are known to be some of the best procrastinators—to scribble their hearts out. It’s not likely that a masterpiece will be produced by typing away for 30 days straight, but at the end of it, if that 50k has been reached, there’ll be a rough draft of whatever was floating around in your head. And that’s really exciting.

Interested? If so, remember, any genre goes, you can sign-up whenever you’d like, and the word quality is not an important part. When it comes to NaNoWriMo, the word count beats all. Editing can wait until December.

See this after November 1st? That’s alright. Participation can start at any time. If you don’t finish by November 30th, you’ll still have the beginnings of a novel. Or, maybe a headstart on next year. To each their own.