Writing a book in 30 days with National Novel Writing Month
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Sometimes the hardest thing about writing is to start.
Fears of failure, inadequacy and ruminating thoughts of “what if” stand as roadblocks — excuses that deter the act of writing itself.
But this November, silence that inner critic; take up the challenge to write.
National Novel Writing Month, which is celebrated across the U.S., began Nov. 1 and will continue with events and writers’ support offered in Steamboat through Nov. 30. The goal of the month-long observance is to write 50,000 words in just 30 days.
“You live in a mountain town to be around people who like the outdoors,” said Jenna Bilbo, Off the Beaten Path bookstore employee who has participated in the event previously. “You go to the theater to be around others who love that medium as well. Sometimes, you just get more motivation by being around other writing nerds, who are also writing, to keep going even when it gets frustrating.”
To offer support and a collaborative atmosphere Bud Werner Memorial Library and Off the Beaten Path have teamed up to host five “Write-Ins” during the month for NaNoWriMo writers, which will held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 2, 9, 16, 28 and 30 in the Off the Beaten Path loft.
“It creates a conducive atmosphere for writers to get done whatever they’re feeling needs to be done, done,” said Bilbo. “It encourages people to be creative and really express themselves by getting their thoughts down on paper, which is great when you live in a small town like we do.”
Whether it’s motivation to write a novel that’s been lingering in the cobwebs of imagination or trying something new by writing poems or a handful of short stories, Bilbo said the event is open to all.
“Some people may have a specific idea, while others may have no idea what they want to write,” said Bilbo. “Sometimes, it helps to bounce ideas off of others or just to start writing.”
Throughout the month of November, writers will be guided by this year’s theme: “Superpowered Noveling.”
“NaNoWriMo ignites people’s superheroic creative powers every year by empowering them to write their stories,” said NaNoWriMo Executive Director Grant Faulkner in a news release. “It takes courage, grit, resilience — and wild imaginative leaps — to write 50,000 words of a novel in a month. Our stories save us from villainous forces that we encounter every day. Our stories determine the future of our world.”
To keep up with the pace, novelists need to write 1,667 words per day to meet the goal.
The national event, which began in 1999 and became a nonprofit in 2005, expects over 400,000 people, including over 70,000 K-12 students and educators on the organization’s Young Writers Program website, to start a 50,000-word novel in the month of November.
Those who participate in the national program can track their progress online and will have access to weekly NaNoWriMo “pep talks,” which are inspirational letters written by well-known authors during the 30 days, along with a variety of tips on writing, editing and publishing.
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