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November is National Novel Writing Month – Take the Challenge!


November is a month of many events: Guy Fawkes Day, Remembrance Day, a month of moustaches grown aplenty. But no other event is more exciting for those of us up to our elbows in books and pens than National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

This November, House of Anansi is taking the plunge and challenging ourselves to knock out a 50,000 word manuscript in just one month, and we want you to join us!

What Is NaNoWriMo?

Started in 1999 by visionary/madman Chris Batty, NaNoWriMo is a way to challenge yourself to sit down and write the book you think you never have time for. Starting on November 1st, challengers will have the 30 days of November to compile 50,000 words. Sound easy? Well it is and it isn’t…

How Do I Do It?

We know, it sounds crazy. How can anyone expect to write a publishable novel in only 30 days of break-neck, caffeine-fueled writing? But NaNoWriMo isn’t really about that. WriMos (participants) around the world find that forcing themselves to actually sit and put words to a page on this kind of strict deadline allows them to tap into the crazy well of creativity that has always been bubbling just below the surface. The goal is just to write; not edit, not judge, or criticize; write, and see what you can come up with in 30 days. The only stipulation is that you must start from scratch on November 1st. You can bring research or notes with you that you have compiled before hand, however you must not have any words of your actual manuscript written.

1666 Is the Magic Number

In order to arrive at 50,000 words by November 30th, you must write 1666 words a day. Many participants like to use the naive exuberance of the first week to build up a healthy cushion of words before hitting the second week mental block. You are more than welcome to write more than 1666 words per day, in fact it is encouraged and recommended, and in some cases absolutely necessary if you fall behind.

While NaNoWriMo seems like an insane venture in masochism, it is actually quite fun! We’ve heard all manner of excuses, from not having enough time in the day to write, to not having any research or plot. Lucky for you the official motto of NaNoWriMo is “No Plot? No Problem!” – WriMos are encouraged to let their creative imaginations guide them and to not get bogged down in problems that can be fixed during the editing process. Once you start, you will discover that writing is an addicting process and you will find time in the day to do so when you previously thought writing wasn’t possible for you. You will write during your lunch hour, you will write on the train to work, you will write on the toilet, and you will write when you previously would have been spending time with friends and loved ones. NaNoWriMo requires you to sacrifice your free time but rewards you with a life-changing experience of witnessing your own authorly potential.

Over the course of the month, Anansi wants you to take this writing adventure with us. We’ll be helping you along with tips and tricks, motivation from your favourite Anansi authors, Twitter writing parties, and even a few book giveaways!

If you want to learn more about NaNoWriMo, we recommend the resources on their official site, and that you join the forums where you will find a community of thousands of other participants around the globe who are supporting each other. For more local support, you can follow the Toronto gathering of WriMos (@TONANO) using the hashtag #TONANO, or go out to some of their write-ins and get the most out of your NaNoWriMo experience! Also, keep an eye on the Anansi Twitter for the writing events we will be holding online.

Let’s all write a novel, it’s going to be amazing fun!

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