November is known as the National Reading Month for the Philippines. To foster love for reading and learning in the country, various fluency and literacy programs and events take place during the month.
If you are an avid reader or someone who appreciates reading a lot, then this month is for you! Apart from joining virtual forums and webinars, you can actually challenge yourself to read as much as you can for an entire month. But if you are into writing as well, are you up for writing as many as 50 000 words?
Join the National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, which is also the name of the host nonprofit organization located in Berkeley, California, USA.
NaNoWriMo is no Pulitzer Prize in Fiction or Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. It is neither a journalistic nor literary contest. Thus, there are no prizes at stake.
In the traditional sense, NaNoWriMo is a creative writing challenge focused on writing a prose throughout the month of November. The output is a 50 000-word first draft of a brand-new novel. No small feat!
You can type the words directly into the NaNoWriMo “writing space,” which allows you to create chapters, add notes, and set a word count goal. The writing space also allows you to change a font, and add a cover photo and a color scheme for extra fun. Plus, it gives you access to writer’s resources to help you get started.
NOTE! You may also opt to write using another platform and paste the output in the writing space to update your word count later on.
Basically, NaNoWriMo was created in the hopes of getting you inspired to write. It helps you find, if not pursue, your creative goals as a writer. If you’ve been overwhelmed by the so-called writer’s block, NaNoWriMo may just be the platform that may help you beat it!
In NaNoWriMo, seasoned writers-and editors-can be speakers and mentors, too. They can give writing tips and pep-talks, and provide writing prompts for participants struggling to find their voice. Basically, people from all sorts of writing backgrounds can join. Hence, NaNoWriMo is like a social network for writers as well.
In writing your prose, it is suggested that you get the story down first and polish it later. Of course, you are free to choose the point of view. It’s entirely within your discretion. You may create characters whose fictional traits show bigger pictures. It’s up to you! You may opt to write a story that suits a target market for easy promotion, should you decide to self-publish the output in the future. Yes, you can self-publish your prose! In fact, a section of the website is dedicated to that path. As the author, your work is solely your intellectual property.
As long as you keep your NaNoWriMo account, your work remains in the writing space. So, even after the challenge, you can later go through the prose to enrich-polish-it. Eventually, you may submit it to other platforms and publishers for consideration.
Perhaps, what you need most to succeed in this challenge are things that cost nothing but worth a lot. You need a fierce desire to write things down and tenacity to finish the work. Remember, the goal is to write 50 000 words of a novel in 30 days. If you reach 50,000 words on the last day of the challenge, you are declared a “winner.” But, for sure, the sense of achievement is way more than that.
Mark Christopher Viuda
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Go to this link to find out more about NaNoWriMo: https://nanowrimo.org/
Barnett, D. (2020, November 2). NaNoWriMo: how to make best use of the annual writing
month. The Guardian.
Gamboa, V. (2020, November 10). Are you up for writing 50,000 words? What you need to know
about National Novel Writing Month. Manila Bulletin. https://mb.com.ph/2020/11/10/are-
What is NaNoWriMo? (n.d.). NaNoWriMo. https://nanowrimo.org/what-is-nanowrimoshow less