People dedicate month to create novels, improve writing

National Novel Writing Month makes next 30 days overwhelming, rewarding for writers



Students manage to write a whole novel in one month.

FRANKIE SY, Evergreen columnist

November is full of fun activities and spirits, but for writers, they face one of their worst fears: National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo is a month-long writing project that takes place every November. The daunting challenge is to write every day and have a total of 50,000 words, or a standard novel length, by Nov. 30.

The reward is every writer’s dream: the complete first draft of their novel. The task may seem impossible for writers and non-writers alike, but plan is simple: get into the habit of writing 1,667 words every day for the next 30 days. That will pave a steady track to 50,000.

However, inspiration and motivation are what tend to keep people paralyzed. Allyson Pang, a first-year creative writing and multimedia journalism major at WSU, expressed her struggles with the concept of NaNoWriMo.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it because when I write,” Pang said, “it’s hard to sit down and force stuff out of me … I won’t touch [my stories] during school days, but as soon as the weekend hits …  I’ll sit down and write for about four hours.”

Pang has taken on a few long-term projects in the past. She wrote her debut novel “The Populars” in middle school and got it published during her freshman year of high school. Pang is also a writer on Wattpad, an online community for writers to publish their masterpieces, and is currently revisiting some older pieces she finished toward the end of high school.

The shortest novel she wrote was completed in two months.

“I’ve heard so much about [NaNoWriMo] but never actually tried it,” Pang said. “I don’t know if it intimidates me or if I’m going to forget one day, or I’m going to have too much homework.”

NaNoWriMo can be an overwhelming process despite the payoff in the end, but it’s also meant to be an exercise for writers dealing with writer’s block. Websites such as Creativindie recognize these struggles and dedicate posts containing pep talks and tricks to conquering NaNoWriMo.

“If you’re trying to juggle too many things, you’ll never master any … this isn’t about doing everything, it’s about doing less,” Creativindie blogger Derek Murphy wrote on the website.

There will be times when sacrifices need to be made, whether it’s giving up Netflix bingeing or partying on Saturday nights. That isn’t to say that NaNoWriMo can’t be fun, but it’s all about discipline and keeping the reward in mind.