Well, folks, it’s almost that time of year again. Less than thirty days until one of my favorite months of the year: November!
Yep. That’s right. November is National Novel Writing Month (affectionately known as “NaNoWriMo”). And this year it is even more special for me because this year I’ve been selected to be a co-Municipal Liaison for my home region! This means that, in addition to writing my own novel, I have volunteered to help organize events and provide encouragement to others participating in these thirty days and thirty nights of writing with literary abandon.
If you happen to be haunted by your own plot bunny and dream of someday turning that cute little bunny into a full grown novel, I *highly* encourage you to consider participating this November.
Why? I’ll tell you why I do it:
- I’m busy. I have a relatively demanding full time job doing basically the opposite of writing. November is the one time each year where I allow my creative brain to take over. The rest of the year I tinker with stories I’ve already started. But November is for new things. November is for creating something out of nothing. For making magic happen.
- Writing is a pretty solitary endeavor. But, the writing community is kind of amazing. I don’t know many writers “in real life.” I belong to a writing group. I chat with other writers on Twitter and read the blogs of fellow writers (and readers). But only other writers can relate to that weird process of creation that happens when you sit down to write a novel. And in November the writing community comes together and rallies around that creation process. Need inspiration? You got it. Need a buddy for word sprints? @NaNoWordSprints has you covered. Can’t think of just the right name for your character? There’s a forum for that!
- World-building is tricky business. I write mostly fantasy and sci-fi novels and I’ve found that world building is so much easier when you can immerse yourself in the world you are building for a short period of time. When I drag out the first draft process over months and months I forget details. I forget the rules I made up for how the world works. I forget what the place looks like. And every time I go back to write I have to remember all over again. Notes are fine. I love notes and lists. But it’s so much easier if you never really leave…
- I believe in the cause. Each year the organizers bring together almost 400k participants of all ages, from diverse backgrounds, located in about 600 regions, across six continents. They give these participants the resources, inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to achieve their creative potential. They send creative writing kits to classrooms. They build local creative writing communities. They help people realize their dreams. It’s so easy to get so wrapped up in “being an adult” or “getting good grades” that you lose track of your writing dreams. Or maybe you just don’t think it’s possible because you don’t think anyone “like you” could ever publish a book. NaNoWriMo gives people an excuse. A chance. An opportunity. And they show kids that there are people “like them” out there making a career out of writing books, getting paid for doing what they love to do. Is NaNoWriMo going to end world hunger or war or poverty? No. But books are a way of getting inside someone else’s world for a little while and seeing what that’s like. Reading teaches empathy. And we could all use more of that. So, more books please!
And it’s that last reason that made me want to sign up to be a Municipal Liaison this year. The same reason I’m going to do something I’ve never done before on this blog, or anywhere, really. I’m going to ask you to donate.
Please go check out my donation page and consider donating even a tiny amount of money to this worthy cause. I know there are no end of worthy causes out there to support. I get it. But if this crazy idea of supporting people of all ages achieve their dream of “someday” writing a novel speaks to you in any way, I hope you might spare a few dollars (or more) for yet another good cause.
And, if you have a novel in you, I encourage you to get it out this November.
Are you ready?
Then, dust off your word processor, or find your favorite notebook and pen.
And throw out the rules! Bring on the plot bunnies! Lock up your inner editor! Let’s get the words out on the page!
I’ll be posting some more blog posts and maybe even some videos in October and November offering advice and encouragement. So stay tuned for that.
Let’s do this!