NanoWriMo: A Quick Fix For Your Writer’s Block
The NaNoWriMo in November is the best time to get over the writer’s block and start writing; with writers and readers from all over coming together to participate in the writing festival. The writing festival was founded by Chris Baty in 1999 and since then has had contestants from across the world from all age groups and gender.
The goal is to complete 50,000 words by the end of November. Contestants are allowed to plot and structure their stories/ novels in advance but not write them. The prompts are shared daily on various social media platforms, writers can choose to include them in their stories or gather inferences from the prompts in general.
What is NaNoWriMo?
NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month is one of the biggest writing contests held in the month of November of every year.
NaNoWriMo works on the premise of writers uploading their write up on the website under their profile. Badges are awarded to each writer on uploading a summary, excerpt and cover for their novel. The challenge is date and time specific, starting on November 1st and ending on November 30th. The contestants primarily try to finish the writing by the 25th of November and verify their word count through the website. If the word count reaches the limit of 50,000 according to the website the writer gets listed as a winner. Upon validation, the winner receives a certificate and several goodies.
NaNoWriMo primarily is a way to motivate and pull writers out of their writer’s block and write more, with the help of daily prompts writers can help it to get the daily spark of motivation to get through the chapter. As writing does not happen in vacuum, NaNoWriMo helps connect and unite writers across the globe to participate in pushing each other to write.
The NaNoWriMo website is resourceful, in terms of both, offering various tools to write as well as holding prep and pep sessions for writers.
Anticipation and Participation
In 2018, it had more than 280,000 participants internationally. Some people choose to participate, some don’t. A surprising number of people complete the target of 50,000 words or more of a brand new novel by the end of November. Several authors who have either been published by big houses or self-published help kickstart the challenge every year by sharing prompts or their experiences with the challenges.
Several writers set their own goals and targets to achieve the 50,000-word count. Creative artists and writers from all over try and participate, of which very few end up writing for the challenge, and fewer than those complete the challenge with a full-fledged novel.
The Creative Writers Club and many such writing clubs help with prompts and challenges to boost writers to get out of their writing rut and rise to the challenge, quite literally. Participants to ensure that they don’t fall into the writer’s block at times call upon their friends and/ or peers on social media to help them achieve their goals and be part of NaNoWriMo. By having others actively engaged in their progress, writers noted that it helped their writing experience in the long term.
Youth Writing Program
Other than the main NaNoWriMo wherein contestants are from all ages from across the world, the Youth Writing Program (YWP) of NaNoWriMo supports under-18 writers and helps them take part in smaller writing challenges year-around. For younger writers, the website has a separate platform where the writers can sign up, log in, create their own profile, and start writing their novel; all on NaNoWriMo’s website itself. The writers can create their own personal word-count goal as well and can choose to keep it higher or lower than 50,000 words year-round.
The Youth Writing Program focuses on enabling young writers with tools, prompts, prep, and pep sessions to fuel their creativity and writing ability. The ‘Writer’s Resources’ and ‘Forum’ sections allow writers to connect with fellow writers. The program lets the writers keep track of their writing and to keep them motivated has a ‘Dare Machine’ or ‘Writing Sprints’.
Tips, Tricks, and Twitter
The website has several tips and tricks to keep the writers motivated with interesting prompts; resources with prep sessions, pep talks, ‘Dare Machine’ or ‘Writing Sprints’ held on the website for writers to use in their story. The ‘Dare Machine’ or ‘Writing Sprints’ helps writers choose a prompt or idea on a daily basis and incorporate it into their writing. Several writers also write some poems, short stories, or just a snippet of a story for the day based on the ‘Dare Machine’ or ‘Writing Sprints’.
Twitter plays a big role in the promotion of NaNoWriMo; the platform, known for the use of words as the only form of expression initially, is big on the festival. Writers actively start looking at the NaNoWriMo Twitter page for content ideas and daily prompts. Previous authors, as well as spectators, become part of the contest. The page on Twitter holds interesting activities to grab and keep the attention of both the writers and the readers.
Vishwakarma Publications too has joined the NaNoWriMo bandwagon. The in-house authors are sending their exciting prompts to fuel the creative minds of the writers. Several authors are also sending in video prompts. The social media handle of the Vishwakarma Publication is teeming with new prompts daily. To know more about the prompts, check out the Twitter page.