A Message from iPub Global Connection Publishing
by Carolyn Wooddall, iPub’s Social Media Manager
I first participated in NaNoWriMo in 2006. I had just graduated from college in June and was excited to be free of my studies and never-ending class papers so that I could focus on my own writing for a change. Although I consider myself to be a very self-motivated and driven individual, without the looming deadlines imposed by my professors, I found it difficult for me to make progress on my first young adult novel. So when I found NaNoWriMo, I knew I was hooked!
For those of you who may not know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It was started in July of 1999 by Chris Baty and about 20 other people in the San Francisco Bay Area who “wanted to write novels for the same dumb reasons twenty-somethings start bands.” According to the wikiwrimo page, this group decided to challenge themselves to write a novel (50,000 words) in one month. The inaugural year saw six “winners” (writers who achieved that 50k word goal) of the 21 participants. Starting in 2000, NaNoWriMo was moved to November to take advantage of the bad weather, which makes it easier to stay inside and write. The event has grown a lot since its inception, and according to their website, in 2021, there were 427,653 writers who participated in NaNoWriMo and their other programs (which now include Camp NaNoWriMo as well as a Young Writers Program).
For many other writers and me, NaNoWriMo is about so much more than just a challenge to put our butts in our chairs and do the work (which it is). And it’s about more than a deadline to hit (although it is that too). It’s about the community of writers who come together to cheer themselves and their fellow writers on to achieve their goals. And if they fall short of the 50k word goal, or it takes them longer than the 30 days in November, that’s ok. The community is still there to cheer them on. There are awesome author talks waiting for me in my inbox and on my social media feeds each day in November, reminding me that I’m not alone and that the world needs my story. That level of accountability and support is so instrumental to a writer’s success. As any successful author will admit–it takes a village. And if you find yourself needing that extra push to work on your novel, this is the event for you.
I wish I could say that I’ve been a “winner” every year since my first NaNoWriMo. That would mean I’ve written 16 novels! In reality, I’ve only been a “winner” three of those years. Several of those years, I wrote 20,000 or 30,000 words of a novel that ended up in a drawer. A few of those years, I missed out on participating entirely. And that’s ok because, at the end of the day, it was never about being a “winner” (although it certainly feels amazing to hit that 50k word goal!) It’s about doing something that feels impossible when faced with the goal on November 1st and then looking back proudly on what I accomplished on November 30th because it’s more than I had just one month ago. As author Jodi Picoult said: “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”
If you’re a writer and you’re thinking, “NaNoWriMo sounds awesome, but November is already halfway done!” You’re right… But that also means you still have half a month to write! Any words you put on that page between now and November 30th will be more than you may have written otherwise. If you need a pep talk, NaNoWriMo has you covered.
I also want to say that we here at iPub Global Connections believe in you! We believe in your story and want you to know that once you’ve written your novel (whether it’s done in November or some future month), we’re here to help you get that story published and share it with the world! It’s possible!