The National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it is more commonly known, is best known as a challenge in the month of November to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That is a very limited view of what it is.
The website has a forum where thousands and thousands of writers communicate and aid each other in their writing journey. You can join a online community in your area and learn about write-ins where writers from your area come together and write together. There are places to ask questions on subjects you don’t understand or are having trouble researching. If you have a question about how to say something in another language, you can put it before the community and see if someone can help you out.
Additionally you can find other writers to work together with and gain encouragement from. Writing dares are prompts that might get your mind flowing in a direction you didn’t consider before, but are really excited about once you do. There are games to help you relax and games to help you write more.
And it’s not just a once a year event. There are people on the forums year round who are both looking for help and looking to help others. Twice a year there is another event called Camp NaNoWriMo, which is basically a more relaxed version of NaNoWriMo where instead of writing 50,000 words in 30 days you choose your goal to write over the 30 days of April and/or the 31 days of July. It can be a word count goal, an editing goal, or something else entirely so long as it is related to writing. If you haven’t checked it out yet, there is an amazing community out there just waiting for you to discover and join them.
Personal Experience with NaNoWriMo
I first heard of NaNoWriMo when a friend suggested it to me. I admit, I checked out the website and thought, okay sure I’ll try this, but I don’t need to sign up. I promptly forgot about it the next day. A year later a writer I enjoy commented that she was thinking of doing NaNoWriMo, again, that year. I don’t know if she did, but I remember thinking that I kind of remembered hearing about that before and went to check it out. It was November 2, 2012 and the challenge had already begun. Earlier that year I had begun working on a new series and thought, why not. I can use this to get further in this story I’m working on.
Turns out it was a very good plan for me. I signed up and managed to get the 50,000 words by the time they started allowing people to validate their projects. When I heard of Camp a few months later, I was excited at the prospective and went on to win that with a 50,000 word plus project as well. I love the community and in 2018 I became an ML, short for Municipal Liaison, which just means I help organize things for my local community, encourage other writers in my region, and help keep them up to date with what’s going on and what’s available. I have a wonderful co-ML and it’s been a great experience so far. Have you ever heard of NaNoWriMo and if you have, what are your thoughts on it?