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Is there a story idea cooking in your brain? Have you been meaning to write that novel but just can’t find the motivation? Are you struggling with writer’s block and want some friends to commiserate with over Zoom? Look no further! NaNoWriMo is here once more!
What is NaNoWriMo?
NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. It’s just what it says on the tin: an annual writing project that takes place in the month of November, with the goal of writing a 50,000 word manuscript in 30 days. That’s a tall order! But there are a few things to keep in mind, mainly that this is not supposed to be a finished product! It’s intended to be a rough draft, with no editing allowed until after November. Also, there is a huge online community to support you. Go to nanowrimo.org to connect with other WriMos! You can update your word count, chat with your writing buddies on the NaNoWriMo forums, and get inspired by pep talks written by published authors.
Most importantly though, there is a local community to provide support! Once you sign up on nanowrimo.org, go to the Community tab to find the Winchester Regional Group. (They are also on Facebook.) Get involved in community discussions, participate in virtual write-ins and meetups, and have some friendly competition to help you reach your writing goals! Their first event is coming up soon; it's an online "Back in Time" midnight kickoff party, from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Halloween night. Details are on the region page linked above!
How can the library help me out?
Your library is here to support you! We have an extensive collection of books about writing, for novels and every other type of writing project, including screenplays, poetry, biographies and memoirs, and general nonfiction. We also have books on improving your prose, writing specific genres such as romance or science fiction, and on navigating the publication process. We have you covered for NaNoWriMo and beyond! For print books, you can follow the link above or just search “nanowrimo” in our online catalog. There is also a broad selection of eBooks and audiobooks to be found on Hoopla! You can follow this link or search “how to write” in the Hoopla search bar. You may need to scroll a bit to get past the children’s titles, but there is a great selection of books and audiobooks on novel writing.
We also have resources beyond books! While for now we ask that our patrons limit their visit to an hour, you are welcome to visit and use the free WiFi to update your word count on the NaNoWriMo website, do some online research, or just to take advantage of a quiet place to write for an hour. If you prefer to do your research at home but do not have WiFi, we also have mobile hotspots that you can check out and take home with you. And as always, our friendly and helpful staff members are available to assist you with using any library resources. Let us help you achieve your writing goals!
What do I get if I finish?
You get the first draft of your novel! (Ha, ha.) Jokes aside, many past WriMos have spoken about the immensely satisfying sense of personal accomplishment they felt when they finished their NaNoWriMo project. You’ve finished a BOOK! It might not be polished yet, but you have a solid head start on your finished (possibly publishable!) product! In addition to “that warm fuzzy feeling,” the NaNoWriMo organization offers plenty of incentive to finish! If you make the 50k word count, you will receive a printable winner's certificate, flair for your social media pages, and discounts on writing-related software and products donated by partner organizations. Plus, they have an online store where you can purchase T-shirts and other writing themed items. NaNoWriMo is free, so if you like what they do why not show them some love?
According to the NaNoWriMo organization, “Hundreds of NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.” If you have dreamed of joining the ranks of published authors, NaNoWriMo is a fantastic place to start. We here at the library are ready to help you get there!