National Novel Writing Month is an Important Writing Challenge

 

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, happens every November. It is a chance for writers, authors or just casual scribblers to test their skill and just write.

NaNoWriMo offers the participant the chance to not get bogged down in the logistics and finer points of their work, instead stressing quantity over quality. The goal is for each participant to have 50,000 words written by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 30.

For many writers, the idea of having a lot of words but perhaps not the best quality of writing may be a big turn off to the process.

However, while NaNoWriMo does stress the importance of a word count, it serves as a motivation to just write and not worry about clunky sentences or other barriers that can be edited later.

The exercise of challenging writers to have 50,000 words by the end of the month allows writers to wait to worry about the specificities that can bog them down within a particular scene until after the fact.

At the end of the month they will have a finished novel, or close to one, and then can work on the editing process.

Even casual writers can benefit from this exercise in writing. NaNoWriMo takes one month out of the year for the casual writer to hone their craft and practice their writing skills, no matter the genre.

For those looking for a less hefty word count goal, Camp NaNoWriMo offers a month-long writing challenge during April and July. Writers are allowed to choose their genre just like in November, but they are also able to choose their word count goal for each month.

Thus, the camp version of NaNoWriMo can be seen as a great introduction to National Novel Writing Month and acts as an easy way to work towards the 50,000 word count goal.

NaNoWriMo is an important, free, creative exercise that is helping the arts and the more creative side of writing stay alive.

Many students, already busy with essay writing assigned by professors, may see this as only extra work added onto an already busy schedule. I think it offers an opportunity for creative release.

Classes, especially in the more science-heavy degree paths, do not offer many chances to enjoy creative expression and hone one’s writing skills. Even in novel writing, students can find advantages that aid them in academic writing.

For example, NaNoWriMo helps writers reach the goal of a certain word count, which can help with assignments that require a word goal. Also, research for various aspects of a writer’s novel mirror the research necessary for academic essays.

Thus, NaNoWriMo can aid students and non-student writers alike.

The importance of NaNoWriMo is ever more present in recent years with news of various art programs being shut down in schools.

According to the White House 2019 “Major Savings and Reforms” document, President Donald Trump plans to cut funding for both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

With the arts coming under fire, nonprofit programs like NaNoWriMo are becoming more and more important in the effort to keep the arts alive. They offer students a way to create even if their school’s do not offer such programs.

They also offer an arts program that is not restricted due to federal funding due to it running on participant donations.

The website offers a community board where writers can discuss their works together, resources for writing and ways to enhance their craft. They also host several Write-In dates where writers can get together during the month at a location in their city and boost their word count together.

Finally, NaNoWriMo hosts a Night of Writing Dangerously. This is their mid-month fundraising event for the non-profit that runs NaNoWriMo.

Writers can purchase or fundraise for tickets, and fly out to San Francisco for seven hours of writing in a ballroom overlooking the city with a dinner and cocktails.

Though it is a fundraiser, NaNoWriMo offers another opportunity for writers to meet each other and network, as well as boost their word counts for their end of the month goal.

NaNoWriMo is an excellent opportunity for writers from all walks of life to come together and hone their craft, and by the end of November, potentially have a novel worth publishing.

 

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