Friday, October 19, 2007

National Novel Writing Month Is Near

A thought for those people who get itchy at the idea of writing. National Novel Writing Month is coming soon.

Every November, for several years running now, large numbers of people have registered online to participate in the project. There’s no cost, unless you want to make a donation to the organization to facilitate the event.

At midnight, on the turn from Halloween to November 1, participants from around the world sit down at their computers and begin writing, with the goal of having 50,000 words written by the end of the month. They send their documents in to the NaNoWriMo web site every now and then, and the documents are checked for the number of words written, but not read. People can, in this way, show their quantitative progress on the site.

Everybody who reaches the goal wins. Everyone who tries is congratulated. There is no promise that any of the works written in the month will be published, or any guarantee that any of the results will be much good. The benefit seems to be in the experience, a kind of endurance run for people who want to prove that they can get words down on a page.

At a time when being entertained is increasingly the dominant American past time, I think that it’s worthwhile to spend one month each year trying to create something for oneself, by oneself.

If the idea of trying to write a short novel in one month awakens something perky inside you, give it a shot. You’ve got nothing to lose but sleep.

[Peregrin Wood / Irregular Times]

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