November is more than just the general election and a holiday to stuff ourselves with turkey. It is also National Novel Writing Month, otherwise know by the abbreviation NaNoWriMo. NaNo, as it is often shortened to, is a month long challenge to write a novel of 50,000 words in thirty days. Beginning midnight the morning of November 1st until midnight November 30th, participants will strive to write 50,000 words in one headlong rush. Some win, others dive bomb in flames. People then use those flames to roast marshmallows and make s’mores.
NaNo is run by The Office of Letters and Light, an organization that helps children and adults express themselves through creation with online and real-world inspiration and encouragement. There are no prizes and the only thing you get for writing 50,000 words is sore fingers and a nifty Internet badge. The forum on the NaNo website is split into regions, with major cities around the world represented by their own region on the forum. This will be my third year participating in the Saint Louis, Missouri region.
Participants for the NaNo writing challenge can either write by themselves or they can join a write-in. A write-in is simply a gathering of participants to write and hopefully keep up with the 1,660 words you need each day to make your end 50,000 goal. They can be hosted at coffee shops, bookstores, or people’s homes. Write-ins are useful as they force those who attend to spend their time writing and having other NaNo writers around you encourages a higher word count. Each region is headed by a municipal liaison. The liaison has control over the forum for your region and can contact The Office of Letters and Light if the need should rise.
Our region has several events, including a Kick-Off party that was held last Sunday. I was planning to go but ended up not being able to when I woke up that morning with a migraine. There will be a Thank God It’s Over party, TGIO, in the beginning of December. I’m getting a new laptop after the one I had been using, which was my Grandfather’s old laptop and is now a whole decade old, finally crapped out on me. I wasn’t planning on buying a new laptop until the spring but needs must and all that. I plan this laptop to be my primary computer when I move out in May. I don’t want to have to make room for a desktop computer in an apartment and hope my new laptop can function well enough for my limited needs. It’s a Sony Vaio and I hope it arrives before my first write-in on November 3rd.
I won my first year of NaNo but bombed my second year when I just couldn’t get up the steam. I’m hoping to be able to attend more write-ins this year and win again. As for all you writers out there who have a story floating around their heads, why don’t you NaNo with us? Stop making excuses and get that story out of your head! Go to the National Novel Writing Month website and create an account. Then look up your region and join in on the fun.