November opens door for writing

With all of the required homework, essays, research projects, required reading and other such school assignments, I sometimes feel like I never have time to be creative. Students who aren’t majoring in art, music, creative writing or other creative majors might feel like they can’t afford to spend time being creative.

Sometimes there isn’t time to make art, even though you have an idea for an amazing painting or an urge to write music and even if you know exactly how you want it to go. Even if you do have time, sometimes you don’t have inspiration or you have trouble finishing what you start.

It is for these reasons that I would like to make everyone aware of National Novel Writing Month. This is a worldwide event run by a nonprofit organization called the Office of Letters and Light (OLL). National Novel Writing Month takes place during November every year.

The goal is to write a novel in a month—50,000 words in 30 days, to be exact. But the event, called NaNoWriMo for short, is much more than just a crazed sprint toward what might at first seem like an intimidating and unrealistic goal.

The website,, has features such as a profile where you can post information about yourself and your novel, a statistics bar to keep track of daily word count goals and forums where participants can discuss everything from the funniest line of the day to the research they’ve had to do for their setting.

There is even a section for pep talks, where published authors write letters to NaNoWriMo participants cheering them on. During November, participants can have these pep talks emailed to them. Let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like getting an email from Holly Black, Tamora Pierce, or Philip Pullman.

National Novel Writing Month is a fantastic way to release pent-up or repressed creative energy through creative writing.  The goal of 50,000 words is scary, but it is achievable, even along with classes, work and anything else that may be taking up your schedule.

All it takes is writing 1,667 words a day about anything you want.  Last year, I was even able to surpass the 50,000-word mark before Nov. 30, which is the last day of the event.

The online community on is amazingly friendly, welcoming and supportive. Participants who live in the same region will even meet at libraries or coffee shops to sit and write together. Cheering on your fellow participants is as much a part of NaNoWriMo as the writing.

To anyone who is interested in creative writing outside of classes, anyone who has ever wanted to write a novel, or anyone who simply needs to release some creative energy, I would recommend participating in National Novel Writing Month. It is an exhilarating experience and leaves you with a different attitude about setting and achieving goals than the one you started with.

Sharon Gollery
/Culture editor
Sharon Gollery can be reached at

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