As I write this post, thousands of eager writers around the globe are at their keyboards, frantically pounding out word after word, working passionately to write an entire 50,000 word novel in just thirty days. Sound crazy? Maybe for some, but for many, completing the daily minimum goal of 1,666 words is nothing less than invigorating.
Now in it’s eleventh year, NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writing Month, went from having just twenty-one participants in its first year, to an overwhelming 165,000 participants in 2009.
Chris Baty birthed this writing marathon in San Francisco and he, along with twenty of his buddies, began a phenomenon that caught on like wild fire. Over the years, NaNoWriMo has gained non-profit status and has grown to include over five-hundred chapters worldwide. More impressively, last year’s event consisted of nearly two thousand K-12 schools.
While today is the official kick-off of NaNoWriMo, you can still register by visiting its official website at www.nanowrimo.org. You’ll have until midnight of November 30th to pump out those one hundred seventy-five pages of novel in order to be eligible for prizes. For younger writers who are up to the challenge, visit www.ywp.nanowrimo.org to sign up.
Already signed up and worried that thirty days of writing in isolation will have you checking into the nearest psychiatric ward? No need to agonize because there are plenty of writers in Nashville who will be participating in local Write-Ins. Check out www.nanowrimo.org/eng/node/72 under Forums for an updated calendar of events where you can meet and write with other local NaNoWriMo writers.
For those of you with a novel that’s been brewing in your noggin for the last decade, well, now is the perfect chance to give it life. To ease the struggle, toss the spelling and grammar lessons from your high school days, because they don’t count in this contest. It’s all about the quantity, not the quality of the work that you submit. Who knows, maybe you’ll go on to publish your novel just like sixty-four other NaNoWriMo writers did.
So, disconnect all of the appliances, except for the java machine, say adiós to friends and family, and get lost in your writing. Let your fingers glide over the keys until you reach the finish line.
If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, leave a comment and let us know how you’re progressing throughout the month.