By Margreet Dietz
Published: Nov. 3, 2012
The Squamish Public Library is inviting local writers to join National Novel Writing Month, the world’s largest writing challenge.
Billed as 30 days and 30 nights of literary abandon, NaNoWriMo has been held annually since 1999 and is aimed at helping budding and experienced novelists get past the internal critic they all struggle with in the early stages of the writing process.
The nonprofit event encourages kids and adults to tackle the challenge of writing a 50,000-word unedited novel from scratch in one month.
“NaNoWriMo is the writing world’s version of a marathon,” said Grant Faulkner, executive director of National Novel Writing Month. “Writers exit the month with more than a novel; they’ve experienced a transformative creative journey.”
For the second year in a row, the Squamish library is supporting the writing challenge, which drew 256,618 people around the world in 2011. The library invites all participants to work on their masterpiece and meet other NaNoWriMos in the meeting room on November 10 and 18, says Nancy Warwick, the library’s adult program coordinator.
The writing challenge itself begins on November 1 and finishes on November 30. To participate—free and open to everyone—register at http://nanowrimo.org/
Upon registering, you get an online account that will not only allow you to keep track of your daily word count, a great motivational tool to keep those fingers moving on the keyboard, but that also offers access to plenty of helpful advice and encouragement on completing the challenge.
Last year, 36,843 people finished, earning the right to call themselves NaNoWriMo winners and, most importantly, having a 50,000-word manuscript.
I will be participating for the third time and wrote the first draft for my novel From my Mother during NaNoWriMo 2010.
Bring your laptop and/or notepad and join me at the Squamish Public Library NaNoWriMo Come Write In events on Saturday November 10 and/or Sunday November 18 any time between 10am and 2pm to complete your daily word count.
Don’t let doubts hold you back from trying the challenge. “It is okay to not know what you’re doing. Really. If you feel more comfortable outlining your story ahead of time, do it! But it’s also fine to just wing it. Write every day, and a book-worthy story will appear, even if you’re not sure what that story might be right now,” according to the NaNoWriMo website.
It’s important to resist the temptation to revise your work in November. “Editing is for December and beyond. Think of November as an experiment in pure output. Even if it’s hard at first, leave ugly prose and poorly written passages on the page to be cleaned up later,” advises the NaNoWriMo website.