By Jillian Jennett
National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo, is both the greatest blessing and curse of every writer’s year.
Every November, thousands of writers worldwide begin their quest to write an entire novel in just one month.
Ridiculous? Maybe. Fun? Absolutely.
Anyone and everyone can participate. It doesn’t matter if the writer is from the world’s largest city or smallest village.
No matter the language, no matter the age, no matter the subject matter, everyone is invited to write and write and write for the entire month of November.
Every participant is given this same task: reach 50,000 words in one month. That averages to about 1,700 words a day: what appears to be a pretty manageable number at first glance.
The “novel” can be about anything and everything with whatever subject matter seems interesting.
Many see the month as an excellent opportunity to start the fantasy novel they’ve always wanted to write, while just as many want to write their life story and finish the first volume of what they hope to be their someday highly sought-after memoir.
This is not mearly an excellent way to build up writing skills and writing endurance.
Having a daily word count helps writers push through nasty bouts of writers block, forcing themselves to delve deeper into their writing and story.
Finishing the novel or not finishing the novel is not what the month is about; the attempt and the so-called climb to the top of the 50,000-word mountain is truly the reason why so many participants every year keep coming back.
NaNoWriMo is not only a challenge to write a whole novel in a month; it’s an international nonprofit, too.
Through donations collected throughout the year, and within the month of writing itself, the charity does some pretty spectacular things.
“When you donate, you help to bring free creative writing programs to nearly 500,000 kids and adults in approximately 200 countries, 2,000 classrooms, 650 libraries, and 600 NaNoWriMo regions every year,” according to the website.
Despite the fact that this is an online celebration of writing, it is easy to translate to real life.
The website is set up so that you may join a support group in the region you currently belong in.
You can attend writing events, meetups, and even find yourself a local writing buddy for the whole month.
Boston is the central hub for all Massachusetts participants as well as those in the thriving student community of the city itself.
It’s not too late to start your NaNoWriMo experience! Sign up on the website or even just challenge yourself to write a novel this month.
Though it may seem difficult to put aside the time every day, between tests and papers and all the other work Simmons students encounter (we’re looking at you, nursing students), it is truly a wonderful and redeeming event to be a part of.
If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, connect with me, the writer, online! Find me at jillianjennett and maybe you can be writing buddies in this strange, crazy and wonderful celebration of the written word.