Creative writing: NaNoWriMo is here! For many, 1 November is just a dreary day, but for crazy pen-grabbers around the world it is THE day to start writing a novel. It’s the day when ‘one day’ becomes… today!

NaNoWriMo is here! So if you’re the type that runs around with messy uncombed hair, drinking coffee, and write random ideas on pieces of tissue paper, NaNoWriMo is for you!

What exactly is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, but it is by no means confined to one nationality. They don’t change their name to iNaNoWriMo for the simple reason that they feel it doesn’t sound as good. And I agree. The aim of this event, to sum it up in one sentence, is to write a novel in a month. This, to many, is mind-boggling. Which, is well, precisely the point. This event gives people to chance to care more about quantity, because we all know very well what happens when you care about quality; you turn on your computer, get a cup of coffee, stare at the blinking cursor for about an hour while shifting through google, get up, give up, and decide novel writing should best be left to Stephen King. (Who, mind you, probably cares quite a bit about quantity more than he should, but I digress.)

The rules are simple of NaNoWriMo are simple: Write 50,000 words in one month. Upload your novel to the website, and let their cyber counter register your word count. The novel can be written in any language, but their counter only recognises latin figures, so if you MUST write a novel in Chinese, it looks like you have to write it on your own initative. The website retains no part of your novel, it is simply used as a counter. What you do after the month of November is entirely up to you, but participants in NaNoWriMo have published some books, so, who knows?

However, the main aim is to get your creative juices flowing, to indulge in being Lord Byron for a month, and to go around telling everyone you know that you’re writing a novel. Flowing shirts and drug abuse are entirely optional.

NaNoWriMo is not a competition. There are no winners. Anyone who writes 50,000 words wins, and you get a pretty cyber badge and certificate.

What’s the point?

The fact is that many of us entertain the idea that ‘one day’ we will write a novel – but, really, few of us ever do. ‘One day’ things always become ‘no day’ things; they all get sucked by a vortex otherwise known as our day to day life. However, the fact that you know that you are part of a bigger event that encourages absolute literary abandon makes you worry less about the quality of the novel you’re writing. The key emphasis is deadline, deadline, deadline.

Again, you might ask yourself: ‘Is it not better to write no novel at all than to write a possibly very bad one?’ I say, NO in all its capital letter glory. First of all, you at least can scratch off ‘Write a novel’ off your list of things to do before you have tea with the Grim Reaper. Secondly, you will be amazed at what the human imagination can concoct when forced to! Admittedly, your novel might not be of supreme quality, but there will be some gems hidden in there that you can play with later on. It also allows for you to enter a new state of mind: The state of mind of an artist, and it allows you to transcend your day-to-day actions and look at the world differently. You may also use the event as an excuse to act like a complete nutter. It’s up to you. Get excited, you’re going to be a novelist!

P.S. No, you cannot write the same word 50, 000 times.