November is coming up, and you know what that means. Turkey, holiday travel, obligatory family gatherings, and the flu (get your flu shot – they are available now! /end PSA). But also, NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH! Generally and affectionately called NaNoWriMo (which I pronounce nah-no-ree-mo, but have been informed that it’s pronounced nah-no-rye-mo).
NaNoWriMo is a huge writing event that lasts the entire month of November. The goal? To write 50,000 words, roughly 200 pages, in one month. That breaks down to 1,667 words daily for thirty days. Originally, the words were supposed to make up a novel, but now people use the event more loosely to just mean writing. The point is to inspire creation and creativity and to provide a supportive community to help people accomplish that word count goal, building good habits along the way. After all, the hardest part of anything is just the starting of it, and this way, the internet can hold you accountable. There are robust online forums, weekly pep talks by famous published authors, and physical regional events. So if you see a group of people intensely clacking away on laptops in a silent group in your library or local coffee shop, you might be able to guess what’s going on. Many NaNoWriMo winners go on to publish, including authors like Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus), Hugh Howey (Wool), and Marissa Meyer (Cinder).