Can You Write it?

Writing a novel is not an easy task. Then again, writing a finished novel in the span of thirty days is an even harder goal for an aspiring author to strive for. National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, takes place every November. The basic objective is for the writer to create an entire novel; having the time from November 1st to November 30th. There are a multitude of people who strive to compete in and finish this challenge every November. Some of these participants are even from Copper Hills High School. 

NaNoWriMo was founded in July of 1999, by Chris Baty. That year, there were only twenty-one people who participated. Baty began this project all because his friends wanted to write novels for fun, not because they had great ideas for them. The next year, NaNoWriMo happened again and that time there were 140 participants. Now, many aspiring authors and novelists take this challenge to help them reach their writing goals. In 2020, 552,335 writers took part in National Novel Writing Month. On the NaNoWriMo website, their mission statement says, “NaNoWriMo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voice, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds- on and off the page.” 

There are a few simple requirements to participate in NaNoWriMo. Any person over the age of thirteen is eligible to sign up and there are no cost requirements. There is a goal set for contestants to achieve 50,000 words by the end of November. Starting on the 20th of November, people writing their novels can submit one to be verified for length. Any participant that reaches the 50,000 word goal automatically becomes a winner. Simply finishing with the word is enough of an incentive for the writers. Katelynn Thorpe, a student at Copper Hills said, “This program can most definitely help people who would want to be writers. It provides tools and resources to help keep you motivated as well as help you learn goalkeeping.” 

There are many reasons why NaNoWriMo works so well for some people. The thirty day time limit keeps the writer on track; if they really want to reach their goal, then they’ll set a time to write every day. It’s also important to keep in mind that this style of novel writing may not work for some aspiring authors even if it has been successful for others. Nicholas Pierce, a student at CHHS and a four-year participant of NaNoWriMo, said, “I believe that it is worth attempting to do. I specifically say attempting because each writer has a different style, and NaNoWriMo doesn’t work for everyone. As to why I think it’s worth it, my answer is because it can be very helpful.” Pierce says that the program has helped him complete many of his writing goals. It has helped him get through writer’s block and he credits the program for improving his writing overall. 

Completing this challenge by November 30th is no easy feat for anyone, but if people are dedicated to writing and are willing to put in the time, NaNoWriMo can be used to achieve many writing goals and help push towards a future as an author. “The key to learning to write is not just writing, but learning to write consistently,”Pierce says.