Well, October of senior year has been an absolute great month for me. (In case you missed it, that was sarcasm.) To all you seniors out there applying to college, congratulations! For getting through this first round of applications and getting halfway through this crazy season.
Now that’s it’s officially November 1st, I am finally finally finally free (at least a little bit) and I can finally get back to some semblance of a schedule. So to commemorate this amazing and possibly short-lived freedom, what better way to spend the little free time I have to write and write and write!
So this month, for the first time ever, I’ve decided to take part in NaNoWriMo!
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, where writers can sign up on November 1st with the intention to write a certain number of words each day, working towards a completed novel by the end of the month. The goal is 50,000 words by the end of the month, which translates to about 1,700 words a day.
In 2016, NaNoWriMo had 445,179 participants from all over the world, and 34,678 people actually finished their 50,000-word draft (an incredibly amazing achievement). In fact, a lot of local libraries participate in NaNoWriMo workshops and have dedicated times for writers to come in and work together to write. The company that runs NaNoWriMo also runs several other programs targeted towards helping young children cultivate their skills and interests relating to writing.
One of the best parts of taking part in NaNoWriMo is the community that comes along with signing up. More than 400,000 writers from 6 continents are all on the same platform, going through the same process of writing 50,000 words by the end of the month. Forums, conversations, inspiration boards, there is everything you might need when you’re trying to write. And the platform itself has motivators for writing, tips for writer’s block, word count updates, and countless other resources.
Of course, writing a novel is no small undertaking, and for the past few years, I’ve always thought about doing NaNoWriMo but never had the time or means to do so.
So this year, as an extension of this blog, I’ve decided to do my version of NaNoWriMo - I am going to write one article every day. Yup, that’s right, one a day. But! These will be shorter and more concise, more to the point, focusing on mostly random things and answering questions you guys all have. I don’t think I’ll end up with 50,000 words, but I will end up with 30 articles! (Hopefully). Ideally, I’ll also have some longer articles in there, I have some in mind. But more importantly, I need you guys to give me questions, give me some ideas, so I can somehow get through these posts - leave them in the comments or in an email.
But before that, I want to encourage everyone to try to take this month (yes, even you seniors dealing with college apps) to take some time out of every day to write just a little, even if it’s just in a journal. Of course, if you have ever wanted to write a novel (something I hope to do someday) this is a great opportunity to get something down that you might be able to use in the future.
Writing is such a great form of catharsis, especially when you dedicate the same chunk of time each day to focus on getting out your thoughts on paper (or in today’s case, a google doc). It wakes up your brain, improves your reading and writing skills, and can help you wind down at the end of the day.
Of course, keeping a journal is one way to accomplish this, but there’s no accountability in keeping a journal. NaNoWriMo is the perfect way to get started on the habit of writing every day, especially because you’ll be supported by an entire community of writers that are going through the exact same process that you are.
With that, definitely, definitely check out nanowrimo.org, even if you can’t commit to the full, every day, 50,000 words, it’s a good opportunity to build a good habit and get started on a project that might one day turn into something bigger.
But...if you think NaNoWriMo isn’t for you, writing every day is still important, and something that I recommend checking out is the Q&A a Day 5 Year Journal in Barnes and Noble. It asks random and short questions every day, for 5 years - questions like “what can you smell right now?” or “on a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you right now?”. The best part of this journal is that you have 5 years of memories to look back on, 5 years of thoughts to pursue further. (Plus, it’s only $3.49!)
My point is, NaNoWriMo is a thing I am going to be doing and a thing that you should try too.
If anyone ends up taking part, let me know! I want to be a part of your writing journey too!
But as for me, and for this blog, give me ideas! My brain is only going to last me so many days, so give me all the questions you have concerning anything from upcoming summer program applications to college admissions to high school life. I will try my best to answer them. :)
And as always, thanks for reading!