Guest blogger Lydia Regalado is an arts educator, crafter and blogger who writes about people who gather to make things.
If you’ve been listening to NPR the past couple of weeks, maybe you’ve noticed the increasing number of author interviews that have been on the air? Last Monday, author A.S. Byatt was interviewed on Diane Rehm, just the week before Nick Hornby was on Fresh Air, and even today, Teri interviewed Michael Chabon. I, for one, have been inspired to consider fiction writing more seriously, but where do I begin?
Hmm, I have no idea, but I know when!
November is National Novel Writing Month, and I just signed up to participate. What is National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo? It’s a marathon writing program for the entire month of November, for both amateur and professional writers. The goal is to write 50,000 words, about 175 pages, of an original story in 30 days. No need to worry about content, grammar or commas. Just write, write, write. NaNoWriMo Founder and Program Director (and 10-time NaNoWriMo winner) Chris Baty says, “When you write for quantity instead of quality, you end up getting both.
This is a worldwide program that is gearing up for its 11th year with more than 120,000 participants, including 1,700 members in North Texas. However, out of all the worldwide participants, only 18 percent win. Although more than 30 NaNoWriMo manuscripts have been published, a “winner” is someone who completes the 50,000 word challenge before the midnight deadline on Nov. 30. NaNoWriMo also has a similar program for young writers, ages 17 and younger, called Young Writers Program. Educators at a K-12 school can register their classes to participate. On the NaNoWriMo Web site, a teacher recounts her experience with YWP in the classroom, which is especially motivating and touching. To date, there are more than 15,000 signed up to participate this year, and that number is sure to increase as the clock ticks towards the starting time, midnight, Sunday, Nov. 1. But after November is finished, the real work begins: editing.
If you’re like me and need a reason to write, work better under pressure, love a challenge and want another certificate to hang on your wall, then join me and sign up today!