It is November, and that only means one thing. It is National Novel Writing Month — NaNoWriMo for short.
Autumn is my favorite time of year. Football is in full swing. Warm mugs of coffee replace the cold brew. Eggnog cartons line supermarket fridges. There are weekend hayrides, face paintings, corn mazes, ring-toss games, and more as fall festivals and fairs are underway. Local farmers’ markets are selling off the last of the summer crop. Many of us can begin switching our thermostats over to heating mode — anything below 60° in my home state of Alabama is jeans and jacket weather. Walks around the neighborhood or park are ablaze with reds, browns, and oranges as the yearly cycles start to wind down. It is always a magical time that offers one last explosion of life before winter comes.
November is smack in the middle of it all. While it can be a busy month for many, it is always the ideal time for writing. The changing season creates moments worth capturing and stories to savor.
Between the hustle and bustle of autumn activities and upcoming holidays, the season also has those quiet moments that allow us to reflect on the world around us. There is a calmness in the cooling air for those who slow down and simply observe.
This is the season where I get the itch to write fiction. While I enjoy the work I do here at the Tavern, I am a novelist at heart. If I am fortunate, I will one day publish a novel. Until then, there is this worldwide movement known as NaNoWriMo. It is an event where 1,000s of people attempt to write a 50,000-word first draft.
There is also a massive community around the challenge. It is sort of like group therapy for those crazy enough to attempt it.
It is a wild ride that is only driven by grit and coffee. There are no guaranteed publishing deals or trophies at the end of the road. The reward is a printable certificate, self-pride, and a month of household chores you likely skipped out on. You may bask in the glory of an achievement few others have accomplished. Many crash and burn by the end of Week #1.
But, if you are a writer, the techniques and lessons you learn along the way are well worth it.
I have a B.A. in English and am a published tech book author. Nothing has taught me more practical writing skills than my participation and victory in NaNoWriMo 2018. School gave me the foundation, but NaNoWriMo taught me about word sprints and how to disable my inner editor.
I will once again participate in NaNoWriMo. I was unable to do so over the past couple of years because of preexisting obligations. But I have that itch again and need to see this thing through.
While NaNoWriMo is not directly related to WordPress (though many participants blog their journey via the platform), there is a spin-off of the event for bloggers:
National Blog Posting Month.
NaBloPoMo does not roll off the tongue quite as well, and it has never reached the global success of NaNoWriMo. There is not even an official
This article was written by Justin Tadlock and originally published on WP Tavern.