What Is NaNoWriMo?

This post, from Chris Baty, originally appeared on the NaNoWriMo site.

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

Read the rest of the post on NaNoWriMo, the official site of NaNoWriMo, which provides many useful NaNoWriMo tips and articles as well as a NaNoWriMo writer discussion forum. Publetariat Editor’s Note: NaNoWriMo fun fact: Sara Gruen’s bestselling novel, Water For Elephants (soon to be a major motion picture), began life as a NaNoWriMo novel.