I think it’s a fairly agreeable fact that November is an eventful month. Here in the United States, we celebrate the things for which we are thankful (like food) on Thanksgiving. After we’re stuffed with stuffing and pie, we celebrate the unconventional, consumerist holiday fondly dubbed Black Friday. That’s basically the day I tag along with family at the mall, plucking gifts from shelves and subsequently returning them to the shelf because the line is just too long. Every four years, the Presidential election takes place in the month of November, sending the nation into a political frenzy.
Then there’s the infamous month-long challenge, No-Shave November. Razors sit on grocery store shelves waiting to be bought while hair grows and grows.
There is a November challenge out there that doesn’t just challenge your ability to refrain from personal hygiene. November also happens to be National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo for short.
Last year, I joined the NaNoWriMo challenge. I will honestly tell you that I failed miserably because there were just too many things going on at school. Despite that, it’s the type of challenge that makes me wish there were more hours in the day.
Basically, if you have a story idea in your head, this exciting non-profit challenges you to write an entire novel in 30 days, starting November 1st and completing the novel at midnight on the last day of the month. The goal? 50,000 words.
NaNoWriMo creates a community of authors, or “WriMos”, who join together in the endeavor of releasing individual voices, thoughts, feelings, and narratives. I think part of what sometimes makes writing difficult, especially novel-writing, is that potential feeling of isolation. With the challenge, you get a chance to read other people’s novels online and meet up to write together to reach certain word count goals throughout the month.
NaNoWrimo, while a challenge in itself, also battles obstacles in society. I feel that there have been many recent attempts to stifle literary creativity and the fine arts in general. Arts programs have been shut down in some school districts, and the significance of writing sometimes seems minute compared to the sciences and mathematics.
I think John Keating says it best in “The Dead Poets Society”: “No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”
Participate in NaNoWriMo and let the creative juices flow at nanowrimo.org. And hey, maybe I’ll actually follow through this year and write those 50,000 words. Good luck!
You can reach me at email@example.com or on Twitter @marie_eo.