NaNoWriMo helps writers gain a support system while writing novels in November.
Brady Fullerton/the Gauntlet

Just shut up and write

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As November approaches, novelists and wannabe writers are gearing up for the 14th annual National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known by its abbreviation, NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo is a month-long event that takes place every November around the world, where anyone interested in writing a novel can take the challenge to write a 50,000 word fiction novel over the course of 30 days, which ends up being 1,667 words per day. While this may seem daunting, the goal of NaNoWriMo is not to produce flawless prose. Instead, the focus is mostly on having aspiring writers get past any mental blocks they have that prevent them from writing. NaNoWriMo provides a engaging reason for writers to finally get their ideas on paper, without worrying about editing as they go.

To participate in NaNoWriMo, visit the official website, nanowrimo.org, and sign up as a participant. You will then be able to track and share your progress once November is under way. The site also hosts forums where writers are able to discuss and get help with anything related to NaNoWriMo and writing. In addition to this, there are meet-up events organized by region, where people participating in NaNoWriMo can get together to socialize and work on their novels with other writers in their area.

Though it is a personal challenge, there are several rewards and promotions from sponsoring companies that are available for those who manage to finish NaNoWriMo. One of these rewards is five free paperback copies of your finished book, printed by CreateSpace.

The number of people participating in NaNoWriMo has continually increased since its inception in 1999. Last year, there were 256,618 official participants in NaNoWriMo and 36,843 managed to complete the challenge.

The first Calgary NaNoWriMo meetup will take place on Oct. 23. Attendees are required to RSVP on the website or Facebook.