Monday, October 05, 2009

National Novel Writing Month is coming!


Registration has begun for the 11th Annual National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is “a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000 word) novel by midnight, November 30.”

National Novel Writing Month is not a contest. It is a challenge. It is a way to motivate your would-be inner novelist to put aside all those other irrelevancies in life (like work and family) and make yourself sit down and write.

While it’s not possible to write a good novel in 30 days, it is possible to write a first draft of a good novel. Quantity Not Quality is the NaNoWriMo motto. In the words of its founder Chris Baty, “The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.”

NaNoWriMo has grown from a circle of writing buddies in San Francisco to a worldwide phenomenon. Of the thousands of NanoNovels written so far, at least 30 have eventually seen print, including New York Times #1 Bestseller Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. While publication is the goal for some, NaNoWriMo has given many more aspiring writers something just as valuable: the sense of accomplishment that comes from fulfilling a lifelong creative dream that might not otherwise have seemed possible.

Last year over 120,000 participants signed up and more than 20,000 of them made it across the finish line. Says Chris Baty, “They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.”

Feeling adventurous and just a little bit crazy? Sign up today at www.nanowrimo.org!

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