Tomorrow (Saturday, November 1) marks the start of National Novel Writing Month. Writers all over the world pledge to write 50,000 words in 30 days.
In 2013, I participated in (“won,” in NaNoWriMo terms) National Novel Writing Month for the first time. I’m sitting it out this year, but I hope to ride that particular carousel of whimsy again.
One of the loveliest things about NaNoWriMo is the sense of belonging it fosters. Chicago has a very active ChiWriMo chapter, with write-ins taking place in multiple neighborhoods almost every day of the week. Writers can also connect to an international community of writers on Twitter, Facebook, and of course the NaNoWriMo site itself.
As I once wrote in a column for the Prairie Wind (the SCBWI Illinois chapter’s newsletter), “Writing can be a lonely endeavor. The nature of the work often demands that you shut the door on the outside world and zero in on the task at hand—whether that’s inhabiting your characters and coaxing out their voices, finessing the plot, or polishing turns of phrase to a high shine—with laser focus. But that doesn’t mean you have to do it all by yourself.”
Kid lit writers might consider Picture Book Ideas Month (PiBoIdMo). I completed the challenge (create 30 picture book concepts in 30 days) last year, though I haven’t turned any of those ideas into an actual picture book. Brevity is not my strong suit.
For nostalgia’s sake, I’ve RSVPed for StoryStudio Chicago’s NaNoWriMo write-in, where I “finished” my novel last year. All writers are welcome to attend the November 15 event, which requests a canned good donation in lieu of an entry fee.
Happy Halloween and happy Friday!