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Start your own novel during NaNoWriMo

Meagan Morris is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist living in New York City. In addition to SheKnows, Morris contributes to many publications including The New York Times, Yahoo! News, PopEater, NBC New York and Spinner. Follow he...

Unleash your inner writer

Have you heard about NaNoWriMo and wondered what it's all about? Read on and learn more about writing your own novel during the month of November.

NaNoWriMo and National Novel Writing Month is November 2010

Have you heard about NaNoWriMo?

You probably have -- web forums, chat rooms and blogs have been chattering about the start of it for weeks. Now, it's finally here.

What is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Nov. 1 is officially the start date for this challenge where writers (and aspiring ones) sit down and commit to writing their very own 50,000-word novel.

Many writers (both beginning and experienced) are intimidated by the thought of busting out a novel, so they never start. That's precisely the reason why the NaNoWriMo founders started the challenge.

Wordy history

NaNoWriMo launched in 1999 when founder Chris Baty challenged his friends to complete a novel during November. Twenty-one people signed on during that inaugural year and six produced novel-length drafts. Last year, organizers boasted 167,750 writers with 32,178 completed manuscripts.

This year is gearing up to be the most popular ever -- the traffic to the official NaNoWriMo website overwhelmed their servers and it's still down as of Monday evening, Nov. 1.

Who should participate?

Everyone! Well, anyone who is inspired to write her own Great American Novel but never found the motivation to start. NaNoWriMo organizers say their ideal participant is anyone who "who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved."

If the thought of 50,000-words scares you, don't fret. Past participants advise newbies to break it down into daily chunks -- it's only 1,667 words a day. Also, the built-in community at the Official NaNoWriMo website is there to help motivate you along and local writers routinely set-up writing workshops to motivate and critique each other's work.

Sign up!

If you're interested in unleashing your inner novelist, sign up at the NaNoWriMo official site. Sure, you can do it on your own, but the website has software that can track your progress and, of course, there's your fellow writers to commiserate (and celebrate) with!

Happy novel writing!

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