Feeling thankful for National Writing Month

Marquesha Lynn, Staff Reporter

Dust off your notebooks, typewriters and keyboards all you prospective writers, because National Writing Month is in full swing. National Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo ) is a chance for authors both young and old from around the world to challenge and showcase their craft for prizes and publicity.

Founded by Chris Baty in 1999, the goal of NaNoWriMo is to write a novel of at least 50,000 words by Nov 30. Why such an arbitrary number? Because it has been proven that while 50,000 is an intimidating number, it is not by any means an impossible goal, for those who are passionate about their writing.

It is only recently that NaNoWriMo has taken its challenge online, however. In 2007, the NaNoWriMo website was launched and the program has spread worldwide. Because of the skyrocketing popularity, it was able to reach out to publishing companies and software programmers for prizes, such as possible worldwide publication and editing deals and free downloads for software such as Evernote, which is tailored specifically for authors.

From my own experience, I’ve found the challenge to be very refreshing. Throughout the day, my mind is buzzing with ideas on how to improve my story and characters, and that motivation transfers to other things in my life, like my homework or job. Since I started my story from scratch essentially, I’ve also had to quickly evaluate and flesh out the personalities of my characters. As that process became easier the more I did it, I’ve become inclined to do that with the people I meet and interact with in my personal life. I’ve started to look closer at my actions and the actions of others, which has improved my personal relationships.

So, are you interested in NaNoWriMo? Don’t worry, because even if the contest has already begun, you still have a chance! Camp NaNoWriMo is an early program for all the eager beavers who want to begin their works of art between April and July.

Both NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo are completely free to sign up for and while writing programs are not provided on the website, a word counter is so that you can check your progress and see your standing. In addition to this handy feature, published authors who have already made names for themselves such as Lemony Snicket and John Green post pep talks on the website weekly, giving tips and inspiration for those who feel awkward about posting their work for all to see.

If you love to write or love to read, National Writing Month is a fun time for everyone involved.