A novel idea | November is national novel writing month

Photo: jjpacres/Flickr Creative Commons ((CC BY-NC-SA 2.0))
Photo: jjpacres/Flickr Creative Commons ((CC BY-NC-SA 2.0))

ST. JOHN’S (CUP) — National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts in November and it is exactly what it sounds like: it is 30 days you dedicate to writing a novel.

I did NaNoWriMo in 2009 and I can tell you it’s one of the best things I’ve ever did. Everyone has a novel in their head, just waiting to come out on paper. And you may say to yourself: “Oh, I’m not good enough to write a book,” or “I’m a terrible writer.” Forget all that now. NaNoWriMo is not about writing the next bestseller or determining whether you’re a good writer or not. It’s for you and for your self-betterment.

First of all, it’s a fantastic accomplishment. At the end of a month, you get to say you wrote a book. Not many people get to say that. You’ll get out a story that, chances are, you’ve always wanted to. You’ll have that forever. Even if it’s not the best, you can take however long you want after November to edit it. Furthermore, it will help improve your writing skills, no matter who you are. You will learn to budget time, and better your writing all in one go. Lastly, it looks pretty cool on a resume. I only have it on one line of my resume: “completed National Novel Writing Month 2009.” After asking what it is, interviewers are generally impressed with the level of dedication and stamina it takes to do such a task, while juggling everyday life.

Yes, 50 000 words sounds like a lot in a month, but participating in a worldwide event makes it much easier. There is plenty of support and advice on the NaNoWriMo site. On top of that, there are local groups that meet once a week during November to help with the process. Getting to talk out your ideas and knowing that others are doing it too makes it much easier.

It’s not just a national movement anymore; people from all around the world participate in the event.

During this month, throw perfectionism out the window. Just go crazy, and write.

Save editing and nitpicking for any time after November. Notice a contradiction? Go back and edit it later, not now. It’s so easy to get caught in a loop. Just worry about getting ideas on the paper, and not about whether it’s perfect.


To get started, go to nanowrimo.org to sign up for an account, as well as to find out how to get involved with the local group.

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