National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, happens every November. Nearly 800,000 writers participate! We begin on November 1st, end on November 30th, and aim to write at least 50,000 words during those 30 days. It’s all free!
If you’ve ever wanted to write a novel, this is the perfect community to join. During those 30 days you’ll get daily encouragement, a sense of camaraderie, and practical help with everything from how to world-build a desert planet to how to murder someone in 13th century France. The online forums are fantastically supportive and constructive. Whatever genre you’re working on, there’s sure to be others to bounce ideas off of and get feedback from.
It’s not that your novel will be done on November 30th. Rather, this is a powerful way to jump-start your process and get solid progress made. By November 30th, some writers are barely half-way done with their sci-fi epic. Others might have completed their first draft of a short cozy mystery. Whatever progress is made, it’s well worth celebrating! Whether you reach the 50,000 word mark or not, you generally have still made far more headway than you would have without giving NaNoWriMo a try.
For those who benefit from in-person events, each region holds write-ins in a variety of accessible locations. For those who prefer to work alone, the access to the online support forums, reader feedback, and other systems can make all the difference when you need another point of view.
Nearly 800,000 writers around the world all pull toward a common goal. Hundreds of thousands of authors give each other encouragement, share enthusiasm, and cheer the small victories. It can make an enormous difference in your work’s progress.
So whether you need help with an illustrated children’s book, a teen fantasy, a young adult romance, or a Miss Marple-style mystery, you’ll find what you need during NaNoWriMo. Give it a shot!
Ask with any questions, and good luck!
This article was first published by Lisa Shea in the November 2021 issue of the Boston Mensa Beacon.