Tome of Geek: NaNoWriMo

As NaNoWriMo reaches it halfway point it’s I felt that I should post something about it.

Writing is hard.

For those of your who don’t know Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month.  This is an annual creative writing project coordinated by the non-profit organization The Office of Letters and Light. During the month of November the contest challenges writers to well write, and write a lot.

They have to write 50,000 words of a new novel in one month.  When you do the math, and I always do the math, that comes out to 1667 words each day, no break, no pauses simply 1667 words per day.


The project has been running since July 1999 by Chris Baty and started out with only 21 participants. In 2000 the project was moved to November and in the 2009 event, just fewer than 170,000 people took part in the event, writing a total of over 2.4 billion words.

How it works is simple.  You enroll on their site, then November comes around and you start typing, when you finish you validate your writing on the site.  Simple.  But the Nanowrimo site offers more.  They offer a massive forum full of ideas, advice, other writer willing to help and the always fun, and personal favourite, the Adopt threads (this is where someone post a character, hook, monster, etc that they can’t use and they give it away to somebody who needs or wants it).  Nanowrimo also allows people to search by their area and track local participants so they can get together and have write-in, parties, other writing distracting events, or if nothing else, just allow writers to meet each other.

Personally I think Nanowrimo is an amazing project and should be spread throughout schools, but perhaps at a smaller amount final goal.  I have known a lot of people who spend the year preparing this, preparing outlines, novels research, character bio and details, all for the first day of November, then as the month ticks away they type, feverishly, using the contest as a writer’s metronome.

I am personally in the contest, writing a small novel about space, and humanity fighting to survive, you can follow me and other at the Nanowrimo site, under the name Xanthor.

Happy writing!

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3 Responses to Tome of Geek: NaNoWriMo

  1. KaM says:

    Hi there. I think this is a nice antidote to my latest post which begins in a remarkably similar fashion to yours. I don’t criticize NaNoWriMo outright, but it is a cause of personal frustration for me. My writing overlaps between a 80,000 word PhD thesis and commission copywriting work. For both, every 100 words is a challenge, and several drafts are always required. Short or long, my every experience of writing is laborious, and I envy the freedom.

    To see a NaNoWriMo participant discussing the difficulties of writing is a useful tonic to me, and I wish you every success in finishing your novel this month.

  2. The Cuz says:

    omfg NaNoWriMo roxorz.

    There’s three words I won’t add to my count today. Thanks to NaNo though four page essays for philosophy that are due in less than 24 hours don’t seem so intense anymore.

    Do you reddit Xanthor? there’s a subreddit dedicated to NaNoWriMo. It’s another aspect of the month that’s kept me (more or less) on track.

  3. Pingback: Tome of Geek: Nanowrimo 2011 | 42 Webs

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