NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo

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50,000 words, 30 days, 1 student.

The night is wearing on. There are only a few more hours before the deadline, and you’ve got about a thousand words to go, with no idea of what you’re going to fill that space with. The adrenaline is pumping: you’ve already drunk a full pot of cof­fee, your mind is racing, and you’ve got a burning desire to give up and spend the rest of the night on Face­book.

And you’re doing this for fun.

Welcome to National Novel Writ­ing Month.

National Novel Writing Month— stylized as NaNoWriMo—is a month of coffee, insanity, and a lot of words. The goal is to write an entire novel, 50,000 words, 1667 per day, during the month of November: the equiva­lent to writing an essay a day. In a press release, Grant Faulkner, execu­tive director of NaNoWriMo, calls it the “the writing world’s version of a marathon.” The work must be origi­nal and unstarted on the first day of November. Participants win if they complete their novel by midnight November 30th and submit their depen­word count to the NaNoWriMo site. No prizes are awarded and no pub­lication deals are offered. The only take-away is the completed novel.

Like a marathon, the true moti­vation is the satisfaction of having accomplished something great. The novel may be a disaster of plotlines and plagiarism, but the sheer vol­ume of words produced is something to brag about as December finally arrives. Write a novel? Yeah, I’ve done that.

Trinity Western University stu­dents know that November is a month-long ordeal of due dates and  despair that Christmas break will never arrive. Surely, no student in their right mind would attempt it. Fortunately, university students are crazy, and appear to never need sleep. TWU has a number of students who have attempted it, myself included. It’s overwhelming. You feel despair. You give up, then decide you can do it anyway. And even if, like myself, you end up with six thousand words at the end of the month due to your course load, the experience of even trying is worthwhile. You learn that sleep actu­ally is necessary, and that editing is for the second draft.

It’s insanity, yes. But nothing com­pares to the feeling of sitting down to begin rewriting the novel you never thought you’d write.

To drink or not to drink

To drink or not to drink

Dispatch from the LLC

Dispatch from the LLC