NaNoWriMo. A word that invokes fear, desperation and loathing. Kind of like taxes. Politics. Lutefisk. And colorectal exam.
That last one was two words, but still.
NaNoWriMo (short for ‘National Novel Writing Month’) is coming up this November. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, NaNoWriMo started in 1999 on a whim by a group of 21 folks in San Francisco who were trying to encourage each other to write. The goal was to put 50,000 words on paper during the month of November. They continued the next year and got 140 participants. So they thought ‘what the hell, why not?’ and continued to 2001.
They got 5000 participants and crashed their website.
Soon, the group was mentioned by such news agencies as the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, NPR, and CBS Evening News. Fast forward to 2015: 351,489 participants, 40,426 of whom completed their 50,000 word goals. In a pre-event called Camp NaNoWriMo, held in April and July, there were 57,402 participants from 56 countries, with 1015 libraries, bookstores and community center partners lending a helping hand. The non-profit group now has an annual operating budget over a million dollars, and some past NaNoWriMo projects include the following:
- Water for Elephants (Sara Gruen); NYT bestselling novel (10 million copies sold), made into a movie (2011) and now being adapted for Broadway.
- The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern); NYT bestselling novel.
- The Persistence of Memory (Tony Eprile); about the waning days of apartheid in South Africa, praised by several reviews and Nobel-winning author J.M. Coetzee.
- The Darwin Elevator (Jason Hough); NYT bestselling novel.
- Cinder (Marissa Meyer); NYT bestselling novel/series.
So guess what SICCO’s doing this November? You got it; NaNoWriMo. Which means, guess what you’re doing this November? Same thing; NaNoWriMo. What else you got going on? Dry turkey and tepid conversations with the relatives from Oklahoma City? Muay-Thai training in anticipation of Black Friday? Decompressing after 18 months of election year bickering? Shoot, might as well make it productive . . . join SICCO at a reserved space with the Columbus library system this November (see the Calendar section for times and locations). Just hang, chill, and do up that novel. Note: Saturday, 11/19 will be our regular meeting, kinda sorta (we’ll be in the room writing, with coffee and snacks available), but otherwise it’ll be relaxed and comradely. So stop on in with people of like minds, bring your laptop/typewriter/notebook pad/stone tablet and join us. And no lutefisk . . . promise.