If you have ever uttered the phrase "When I write my novel…," November is the time to keep your word and get to it.
This month is National Novel Writing Month, abbreviated as NaNoWriMo. Taking place Tuesday through Nov. 30, the period is devoted to encouraging people who have always wanted to write their own book to actually write their own book.
In its 18th year, National Novel Writing Month is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formerly known as the Office of Letters and Light, according to its website. The organization is devoted to inspiring and pushing writers to accomplish the often daunting task of writing a novel. NaNoWriMo also has educational programs, including the Come Write In initiative and the Young Writers Program.
The goal is simple — sort of: Participants must work towards the goal of penning a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. local time on Nov. 30. The month is meant to inspire budding (or seasoned) writers to set aside their "what ifs" and procrastination to strive toward a deadline.
"Too many people think they're not a 'creative type,' but to be human is to be a 'creative type,'" NaNoWriMo executive director Grant Faulkner said in a news release. "NaNoWriMo teaches you to believe that your story matter, to trust the gambols of your imagination and to make the blank page a launching pad to explore new universes."
Ready to write that novel? Read these facts and rules about National Novel Writing Month before you dive in.
- The nonprofit’s mission statement is all about inspiring creativity and holding writers accountable so they meet their deadlines. The organization's mission reads: "National Writing Month 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."
- In 2016, NaNoWriMo expects close to 500,000 people to participate. This includes educators and students in Kindergarten through 12th grade.
- The theme for 2016 is "Your Novel, Your Universe."
- The first NaNoWriMo took place in July of 1999, according to the nonprofit's website. It was first observed in the San Francisco Bay Area in California.
- In 2015, 431,626 participants in 633 regions across six continents participated in NaNoWriMo.
- In its first year, only 21 people participated in the month-long event.
- This year will feature weekly written "pep talks" from esteemed authors including Alexander Chee, Jenny Han and Maggie Stiefvater.
- For those looking to commit to the project, participants can create a profile and connect with fellow writers here.
- While participating writers are not supposed to write their novels directly on the site, they are encouraged to share excerpts or synopses of their work online.
- Participants can also earn achievement badges for completing milestones set by NaNoWriMo organizers.
Click here to see the complete set of rules for National Novel Writing Month. Good luck.