NaNoWriMo: an exercise in digging deep (to find and harness your creative energy!)
Bonus: join a thriving global community of people just like you, working toward the same goal, with the same deadline, all cheering each other on! And it is 100% free.
Yes folks, it is that time of year again. I am not talking about the pumpkin spice madness which seems to take over everyone's taste buds (not to mention Pinterest!) at this time of year. No, it's November, and I'm talking about NaNoWriMo. If you have not heard of this miracle of creative expression, let me enlighten you:
Ever wanted to write a book? You can. I'm quite serious. I did it. My friends have done it. Tens of thousands of people do it every year in November--and they do it together. November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Wait--is this some sort of weird cult? Nope. NaNoWriMo is a very real thing, and it totally cool. The non-profit that runs it (The Office of Letters & Light) are an amazing, dedicated bunch.
Interested? It is entirely free (although they love donations). They have a kids program too, and lots of teachers use it in their classrooms. I will provide the links below, but first, feel free to check out the NaNoWriMo Song. Not kidding. They have a SONG. :) They also have a how-to book called 'No Plot? No Problem!', but it is not necessary to read it before writing--I didn't.
So, why does a therapist have a post in his blog about this? Simple: NaNoWriMo is an excellent creative exercise that helps adults and kids learn to harness their inner resources to complete a (really!) fun, worthwhile task: actually writing a novel of your very own. Yes, you can. Even if you don't finish it all in November, it is a fantastic exercise that will challenge you and push you in new ways (and there is always next year too). You will definitely be richer for the experience, and if you do finish, you "win" and you get to print out a cool certificate for framing (I really did frame mine--it's on the wall at home!). If you don't finish, no big deal--try again next year! (I have tried three times, and only finished once.) It will always be challenging and fun and free. One of the best parts are the NaNoWriMo writing parties that happen in Starbucks (etc.) in 44 countries around the world throughout the Month of November. Yep--it is just what it sounds like: a crowd of people with laptops and caffeine and the same mission: to reach their daily word goal. Sound like fun? Youbetcha!
Adults do 50,000 words, and kids set their own word-length goals. Believe me--this is an AWESOME growth experience. Do you have a book in you? I did. I may even have a few more... What are you waiting for? It doesn't cost a dime, but it will cost you one fun-filled, wild roller-coaster-ride of a November.
- First, check out the intro video to the Office of Letters & Light which will tell you all about who they are and why they do what they do.
- Then head over to the NaNoWriMo website, where you can sign up and keep track of your progress, get tips and support, etc.: nanowrimo.org
- Here is the link to their Young Writer's Program (NaNoWriMo for kids)