50,000 can be a daunting number, but I’m here to bear witness that it can also be an achievable number. Last year, for the first time, I successfully crossed the National Novel Writing Month finish line, pounding out 50,000 words worth of original writing during the month of November. I followed that up with securing a lucrative publishing contract and a nationwide speaking tour. Okay, the previous sentence was fiction. What I did gain was a sense of accomplishment, greater confidence in my writing abilities and the sense that doing a big thing is possible if you devote yourself to it regularly.
If you, too, would like to challenge yourself as an official NaNoWriMo participant, the time is drawing nigh. You can register now at www.nanowrimo.org. I encourage everyone who has been carrying around an unwritten story to give it a go. Even if your life is too demanding to make the goal feasible, see if you can at least write more than usual, just for this one month. For several years I was raising children, helping to care for an elderly parent and working a paycheck job. But I still channeled the spirit of NaNo to produce a few extra pages of creative writing. (Accrued vacation hours helped.)
Not sure how to begin? The Columbia Public Library is hosting an informational session. Get Ready to Write a 30-Day Novel will take place Thursday, October 26, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., in the Friends Room. The program is co-sponsored by the Columbia NaNoWriMo group.
Speaking of the Columbia group, it’s one of the most active in the world. In 2016, 209 Columbia writers participated in NaNoWriMo, producing more than 4.4 million words. Fulton was also represented, with 24 participants and nearly 700,000 words. To connect with your local group, visit the NaNoWriMo site, where you can communicate online and find out about in-person gatherings.
DBRL will host two write-ins, where participants can find a comfortable place to gather with other writers, have a few refreshments, socialize a little and get those words on the page. Our Callaway County Public Library Write-In is scheduled for Tuesday, November 7, 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the Friends Room. The Columbia Public Library will open its doors and its Quiet Reading Room to NaNoWriMo authors after hours on Friday, November 10, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Have I been motivational enough? Are you feeling ready to take on your big writing project? Do you want even more resources? On your behalf, I polled some writers I know to discover what books they’ve found helpful, and I compiled a list. Now that you have information, a support group and the tools you need, go forth and create. I believe in you!
Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.