Whilst I was browsing one of my favourite blogs, Creating Passionate Users, I came across a link to NaNoWriMo. What is that?? Well, it stands for ‘National Novel Writing Month’, when aspiring authorsÂ all over the worldÂ commit to writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days starting on 1st November. Why? Here I quote directly from the website:
“The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.Â Â
Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. 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.”
Anyone can sign up, it costs nothing, and if your creation passes muster (i.e. you submit it before midnight on November 30th via their website and their robotic counters confirm that it is 50,000 words or more) then you get an honourable mention on their website and the satisfaction of knowing you did it!
The competition has been running for eight years and started with a small (21) group of 20 somethings in San Francisco (where else?) who just did it for the hell of it (and because they thought if they could claim to be writers they might get dates more often).Â In 2005 they hadÂ 59,000 entrants. Although entry is free, there is a place on their website to make donations and a web based store where you can purchase associated stuff (mugs, T-shirts etc), the proceeds of which will be donated to an elementary school in Vietnam to help child literacy.
There are literally hundreds of local support groupsÂ all over North America, the New World, Africa, Europe and Asia. They even have a group in Hamilton they meet, have pre-launch parties, support groups and then post NaNoWriMo celebrations together.
I think it’s a wonderful idea and, working out that over 30 days you would only have to writeÂ just under 1700 words a day (this blog is 2000 words already),Â I almost jumped on it. But then I thought about it a bit and realised I’d be travelling until 1st November from Gabon, leaving again from Canada for Africa on 26th November, and between those two datesÂ plan to spend as much time with my family and friends as I possibly can. These conditions are not conducive to novel writing. Maybe next year..this travelling lark is starting to get in the way of my life!!