I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves - Anna Quindlen.
Published November 8th 2012
For those of you who love to write
Although November is normally known as Movember (which believe me, I definitely know as most men I know try to grow out their non-existent 'mo'); what some of you may not know is that is is also known as National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. One of my hobbies is creative writing and I dream of being able to publish one of my pieces one day. I had only first heard of it myself this time last year when one of my house mates introduced me to it.
The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. You type all your work on your own computer or whatever other device you may use and update your word count daily on the website. And honestly, that is pretty much all there is to it. Besides that, there are no rules apart from the obvious copyright and not repeating the same word 50,000 times.
On the website there are also forums where you can talk to fellow writers and you can also send private messages. The staff at NaNoWriMo also send you encouraging emails frequently and offer tips. You can also look around the site and see excerpts from other people's novels to give you inspiration or just for your own interest.
All in all, it is a great activity for those of you who enjoy writing. I attempted it last year and failed due to the demands of my University course. However, I am feeling more optimistic this year and will try to get as close as possible to the target. But if you don't, it isn't the end of the world. It is all purely for your own fun and benefit, giving you something more interesting to do with your month.
NaNoWriMo also stresses that you do not need to worry about editing at this stage - it is all about the enjoyment of the writing process. You don't need to think too hard, and you don't need to worry. Just give it your best shot around all the other commitments you undoubtedly have and see how far you can get with it.
And, this is not all NaNoWriMo has to offer:
There is also a specific Young Writer's Programme at NaNoWriMo for writers aged 17 and under. Participants will be set individual word-count goals and are given resources through a youth-orientate site to help them reach their target.
Camp NaNoWriMo was established in 2011 allowing you to do a National Novel Writing Month in either June or August. This may be more suited to those of you in education who will be off for the summer holidays.
NaNoWriMo also has a 'Come Write In' in libraries and independent book stores that encourage you to keep writing.
There is also an interesting event happening in 2012 for NaNoWriMo; 'The sixth annual Night of Writing Dangerously Write-a-thon'. For those of you in San Francisco, this event will be taking place on the 18th of November for six hours of writing.
For more information on all of the above, please visit the website below.
So, if you enjoy writing, why not give it a go? You have nothing to lose and even if you don't go for it this time, there's no reason why you can't try again next year as it happens annually.
Good luck to those of you trying and let me know how you get on, if possible.