It’s almost that time of year again when #NaNoWriMo is trending, and people start to ask, “What is NaNoWriMo?” The acronym stands for National Novel Writing Month. On its website, it describes itself as a “fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.”
It’s free, and it helps writers track their progress, set milestones, connect with other writers who are also a part of the program, and participate in events that will help writers finish their novels in November.
In their own words
I had a good look on the official website, and I believe that the following description most accurately sums up the organization’s structure and purpose:
“NaNoWriMo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides tools, structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds — on and off the page.”
The following quote, which I also found on the website, goes further to describe the mission of NaNoWriMo:
“NaNoWriMo believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.”
NaNoWriMo Success Stories
It’s not only for amateur writers, either. Some professional writers use the writing challenge to kick-start new projects, and here are some success stories in recent years.
- Marissa Meyer reportedly wrote over 150,000 words in a single month. The Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress stories of her Lunar Chronicles. Her stories became New York Times bestsellers. And I don’t know how she managed that many words in one month either!
- Wool by Hugh Howey is a post-apocalyptic science fiction book that the writer chose to flesh out one November. Although he didn’t write the entire story within the month, he used NaNoWriMo as a designated writing period.
- And most of us have heard of Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen. But, did you also know that it began life as a NaNoWriMo project? The novel became a huge success, and even turned into a movie in 2011 starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz.