November is National Novel Writing Month.  In 2013, nearly 650,000 people around the globe participated in what has to be one of the most fun writing events ever…NaNoWriMo (pronounced nan-no-RYE-mo).Begun in 1999, NaNoWriMo is an internet phenomenon for fiction writers.  The process is simple:

  • You sign up(here’s a link)
  • BeginningNovember 1st, you write
  • If you reach 50,000 words by November 30th, you win.

Participating in NaNoWriMo is like being on a breath-taking, adrenaline pumping roller-coaster ride for 30 days.

My son, Casey, and I did NaNoWriMo when he was in high school. His teacher incorporated the program into the freshman English course. Their assignment was 9,000 words.  We spent many a night after dinner sitting across from each other at the dining room table, hands poised above our keyboards, timer at the ready.  One of us would start the timer and we’dwrite as fast as we could for two hours.

We also joined fellow writers at coffee shops for similar writing nights.

They were exhilarating sessions.  Pattern-breaking.  Fear-demolishing.

I’m not a great writer, but that month made me a much more confident, happier, faster writer.  Never had I enjoyed pushing myself so much.  Never had my creative mind run ahead of my left-brain’s tidiness and logic quite so effectively. And everything I experienced during that month has stayed with me in all of my writing, not just the bits of fiction I play with now and then.

If you’re a writer of any sort, I encourage you to participate in NaNoWriMo at least once in your life.  It’s a writer’s boot camp, an immersion program, a retreat, a dash towards opening night, a whirlwind tour, a month-long frenzy of creation.

Write and write and write all month.  If you ‘win’ by writing 50,000 words, fantastic!  What a terrific accomplishment!

If you write and write and write, and don’t quite get to 50,000 words – not to worry.  I only hit 34,000…but I took away many prizes from my NaNoWriMo experience.

Here’s that link again to  Good luck