Sunday, 24 November 2013

What is NaNoWriMo? The National Novel Writing Month!

Maybe you have wondering where I have been the past week? I came across the abbreviation NaNoWriMo on Google+ and saw people posting random numbers like 11200 or 6450. I was intrigued to find out what the buzz was about. 

I fired up the search engine to do some research, and it came up with the website of the National Novel Writing Month  (NaNoWriMo). As I was always keen in writing a novel myself, I was curious to find out more.

NaNoWriMo is actually a free creative writing project that takes place every November. The aim is to write a 50,000 words novel (or simply 50,000 words of a novel to be completed later) writing an average of 1600 words a day. There is no emphasis on what your story has to be about or a strict rule on plotline, you can simply follow your stream of consciousness and discover your characters. 
The reason this is, is to encourage people to start writing and overcome their fear of failure. The community gives you support with daily writing challenges (there are even regional meetings, hosted by volunteers) and the deadline works as an incentive to get the story going. Popular novels like "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern or "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen have been written using NaNoWriMo. 

NaNoWriMo was founded by Chris Baty in 1999 - he started with a small writing group of 21 people, and has now grown into a huge community of 300.000 participating writers. In 2006 NaNoWriMo became a non-profit organisation under the name "The Office of Letters and Light". Donations keep the NaNoWriMo events running as well as letting them host other creative writing projects like the "Young Writers Program" for children and teens. 

It was middle of November, but I'd missed the start of the writing month - but I felt compelled to jump right in and to give NaNoWriMo a try. I started writing on Microsoft Word, but then discover 'Scrivener', and soon changed software. It gives you a much clearer view of different chapters, ideas and characters. My aim is not to write great literature, but to write a story that my writing buddy Anne will find entertaining. Anne and I had a phase ten years ago, when we used to write and share our stories regularly. It was always exciting to hear what our main character and his love interest were up to and what they had to struggle with. It's an amazing experience to create a whole new world and bring characters to life.
Although I won't be crossing the finish line at the end of November, I have learned a lot in the past few days. I wrote more words than ever before for my novel and I discovered an encouraging online writing community.

NaNoWriMo 2014 - Count me in! :)

As creative people we are vulnerable by our dreams and creations and it is important to surround oneself with people who believe in us and encourage us in our work. Sometimes it is difficult to see the value of our work with so many talented people out there, but every voice is unique and there is an abundance of ideas out there! Let's rock!

I'm so lucky to have my creative allies!
Thank you to Steve, Brigitte, Michael, Anne, Stine, Amelie, Vanessa, Mieke and Irina for sharing COFFEE and bringing about a lot of creative sparks!

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