Sunday, November 4, 2012

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

Many avid literary nerds might know that November is National Novel Writing Month, where the goal is to write an entire novel (that's about 50,000 words) in one month (or, if you are math challenged like myself, roughly 1600 words every day for 30 days). An astonishing feat for any person, especially a child, NaNoWriMo is meant to be a jumpstart for aspiring novelists to begin writing without abandon and self-editing that so often plagues a writer's progress and blocks creativity.

For the first time ever, I heard about children taking part in the festivities through NaNoWriMo's own Young Writer's Program (YWP). This article features stories of librarians taking charge of programs set up within a Common Core curriculum to get classes involved in the novel writing month, and also setting up after school NaNoWriMo programs with goal word counts adjusted for grade and ability. Gaining popularity over the years these librarians have put on these programs, this push toward not only reading, but writing, really excites me.

Any writer knows that reading and writing go hand in hand; that the better you can read, the better you can write, and vice versa. What a wonderful, encouraging way to not only inspire young writers to do so, but to garner interest in writing altogether and, while doing so, gaining patronage in the library. While I can agree that sometimes these "weeks" aimed at readership and sponsored events may fall short of expectations, I think that NaNoWriMo YWPs have a real chance at popularity and participation  simply due to the self-competitive nature of the activity, as well as the vast popularity of NaNoWriMo on the whole.

I for one cannot wait to gain employment in a library and hopefully raise NaNoWriMo awareness, if not actually implementing a program!