National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, happens during the month of November every year. It’s a challenge in which those who opt in produce 50,000 words or more within 30 days.

From their mission statement:

“National Novel Writing Month believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.”

Find out more here.

I’ve completed this challenge successfully every year since 2013, and personally would recommend it to any budding writer. Many young writers have trouble making larger pieces of work – often focusing on poetry, short stories, or extracts instead. And while there is certainly huge value in all of these (if I didn’t believe that then this blog wouldn’t exist), throwing yourself into the challenge of writing a larger piece of work will teach you far more than you can imagine.

The first NaNoWriMo you complete will be shit, to be blunt. But that’s the same with any first novel, no matter the timespan you gave yourself to complete it: it’s not the hurried nature of NaNoWriMo that makes your work bad, it’s the fact that you’re still learning. By completing NaNoWriMo you allow yourself to discover some of the larger pitfalls in novel writing such that, when you eventually turn to writing a novel proper, the process is smoother.

This year (2016), I’ll be taking on the challenge for the fourth year running. However my project this year will be drastically different to other years. Follow the posts under this tag to find out more – once the posts start, that is.