It's November 1st, the beginning of a wonderful month filled with writing and fueled by your dream to get the first draft of your novel done. Okay, we've been talking about NaNoWriMo for a while now, but it occurred to me that some of you might not know what it means, how you can participate, and what the event has to offer. This post, then, will show you briefly what in my opinion are the coolest things about NaNoWriMo and how you can join it.
1. What is NaNoWriMo?
NaNoWriMo means national novel writing month, and it is an online event (although you can attend or host NaNoWriMo events at libraries, universities, schools and at independent bookstores, if you wish) to encourage writers and give them support to finish the first draft of their novel in November.
We know that writing is a very lonely activity, and it can be very frustrating, too. NaNoWriMo is so much fun and the writers who join the event are so nice and supportive, you'll realize you're not alone. If this is what you're looking for, then go ahead and sign up.
The event runs from Nov 1 - Nov 30, 2012.
2. But how do I sign up? Do I have to pay to sign up?
Here is the link you need: www.nanowrimo.org.
And, no, you don't have to pay a thing. It's for free.
Once you sign up, go ahead and leave a comment telling us what your username is. We'd love, love to add you as our writing buddy! :)
3. Why should I join NaNoWriMo?
Basically, if you are looking for:
a) Tips on how to plan your novel
b) Opportunities to attend writing events near you
c) Online encouragement from other writers and published authors
d) Access to many forums where you can make friends and defeat writers' block
. . .then NaNoWriMo is for you.
4. What is so cool about the NaNoWriMo website?
I'll tell you what I personally think is awesome about each page you'll find browsing the NaNoWriMo website:
a) My NaNoWriMo:
Once you create a novel (as in, once you write down the title of the novel you'll be working on, synopsis and an excerpt, if you wish), you're able to keep track of the word count. I love this feature, because it helps me see I'm making progress.
I LOVE forums. NaNoWriMo has forums and more forums on everything. Everything. Really. Forums to help writers who are struggling to plot a story, develop a character. Forums where you can ask questions on grammar and sentence structure, and a lot more. They also have genre lounges, procrastination zones, and many more online hangout places. I love them all.
c) Fun Stuff:
Web badges. Facebook cover images. Word count widgets. *hyperventilates*
d) NaNo Near You:
This page allows you to look for NaNoWriMo participants who live near you, add them as writing buddies, and email them. Wouldn't it be awesome if could meet with some of these folks in person and have a writing party? That's possible with NaNoWriMo. :)
e) More from Nano:
I recommend reading about every creative writing program they have to offer, if you are considering hosting or joining a NaNoWriMo event. If you're a library staff member, an independent bookstore staff, or a college instructor / student, and you'd like to host an event, this is the place for you.
T-Shirts. Bracelets. Mugs. Posters. Gimme everything NaNoWriMo!
Although NaNoWriMo is for free, you're also encouraged to send a donation (if you wish / can, of course). NaNoWriMo is run by the Office of Letters and Light, a nonprofit charity that supports many creative writing programs.
If you'd like to know where exactly your money goes, here's the link: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/wheredonationsgo. I'm sure the folks running NaNoWriMo also wouldn't mind answering questions if you'd like to know more.
By the way, there are a group of amazing published authors super excited about NaNo this year. The list includes Jessica Khoury, Beth Revis, Marie Lu, and Jessica Spotswood, and so many others. Some of them, actually, are trying NaNoWriMo for the first time, and are just as nervous as we are. They're open to questions, so go ahead and join them:
I promise it will be fun. Join us. And may the odds be ever in your favor!