For some, November is the month to begin bundling up against the inevitable bombardment of the holiday season. For others, November is the time to anxiously welcome the frenzy of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short.
In just a few short days, thousands upon thousands of NaNoWriMoists from all over the world—both new and veteran—will take the plunge and attempt to write a full-length novel (about 50, 000 words) in just 30 days.
Now in its 9th year, NaNoWriMo has grown extensively. With over 79, 000 participants last year, this year’s NaNoWriMo expects well over 100, 000 from over 70 countries. And seeing as the novel-writing life can be uninspiring, lonely, and sometimes gruesome, there are a number of online features and social groups available to help freshen up the writing mind.
On the official NaNoWriMo site you can sign up for an account and fiddle with a bunch of features such as adding a photo, inserting a novel excerpt, connecting with other “writing buddies,” displaying novel stats, etc. Of course the one thing most NaNoWriMoists will be looking forward to will be the ability to upload their current word count and either feel good or bad about themselves at the end of the day.
For all NaNoWriMoists in Toronto who are braving the challenge, a number of events are being planned and hosted by Municipal Liaisons D.J. Sylvis and Heather Emme. Give them a try should you feel the need to come out of novel-writing hiding and remind yourself what it’s like to interact with another human being. The events include writing sessions and social gatherings—which provide opportunities for none other than the great novel exchange. There’s a kick-off party tomorrow at The Butler’s Pantry (591 Markham Street) starting at 7 p.m. You can RSVP, but it’s not necessary, you can drop in regardless. If you’ve got a NaNoWriMo account and have Toronto added as a region you can scope the forums for more information. There’s a Facebook and Livejournal group, too.
Officially kicking off at exactly 12:00:01 a.m. November 1, NaNoWriMoists everywhere will spend days and sleepless, coffee-infused nights staring at computer screens (pen and paper for those pursuing the more traditional route) vying for that 50,000 word mark by 11:59:59 p.m. November 30.
Photo by Olivander.