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Friday, October 31, 2014

November is Writing Month

If you're a writer, then you probably know that there's a writing group that meets at our library. The Write Now group meets on the first Wednesday evening of the month - which means they'll be meeting November 5 at 7 pm.

It's a diverse group, with some people focusing on fiction and others on memoir or other nonfiction. There's poetry, romance, history,and science (more about Write Now here).

As the days get shorter and darker, more writers come in out of the cold. Perhaps that's why November has the reputation as a perfect writing month. Or maybe it's the crazy can-write-anything-in-a-month attitude that sneaks in on these late fall nights. Whatever it is, every now and then a Write Now member will head off on a month-long writing challenge.

If you're looking for some inspiration - or maybe a challenge to get you scribbling - here are three to get you started:

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Started in the last year of the previous millennium (1999 to you millennials), the point of NaNoWriMo is to write a novel in one month. Novellas won't cut it; this is an all-out, aim for 50,000 words or bust. The ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is quantity. You can pretty it up the next 10 months. As one writer puts it, NaNoWriMo is about lowering your expectations, taking risks, and just slapping words down on the page as fast as you can. Learn more here.

If fiction's not your thing - say you're working on a memoir or some other nonfiction type of project - not to worry. There's a challenge for that too: NaNonFiWriMo. Like it's fiction big brother, National NonFiction Writing Month pushes you to slap down words on a page. But there's no word count minimum, so you can challenge yourself to writing 30 short essays or articles... or blog posts or a cook book. Here's more info.

People who write for kids have their own challenge: PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month). Instead of writing books, the challenge is to come up with 30 picture book ideas in 30 days. Some people jot down a title or a couple sentences, or sketch out their idea; others outline an entire book. It doesn't matter what you do as long as you do it. Find out more here.