I firstly read about NaNoWriMo three years ago, when I was taking my first steps on exploring the Internet for my writing needs. The demanding nature of this initiative made me postpone my participation for several times until this year, when I’ve decided it was the perfect time to make my premier. So, right after taking my breakfast, I ran to the computer and signed up on the website. I am, as of today, an official contestant!NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Writing Month. During this month of November, thousands of people will be writing a 50000 word novel, starting on November the 1st and finishing by the 30th. Novel genre, the author’s location, the writing language: all those aspects don’t matter at all, as long the participant writes in a text software such as Microsoft Word so they can proceed to a regular update of their word count. This is important because the word count bar will slowly fill according to the number of words. If by the end of the month they manage to write the 50000 words, the task is completed and NaNoWriMo is won.

I want to take to opportunity to collect a lot of information from this experience. I’d like to find out, for example, if the effort of writing everyday a great quantity of words pays off and, if the novel written, although not of a literary genious quality, will be, at least, an excelent exercise where we’ll allow ourselves to breathe creative vapours and release all the craziness and imagination trapped inside of us.

A good part of NaNoWriMo’s success comes from the website’s foruns. Very numerous, they are incredible active, with users posting every minute, and as soon as they are launched, on the 1st October. There are the realistic characters and plots forum, the “I’m depressed with NaNoWriMo”, forum, the ones who are excited forum, the word prompts one, the writing 101, the newbies, the horror, the fantasy, the chit-chat, among many others. It actually becomes a bit difficult to me to know exactly where to post. So far, I’ve spent a great deal of time reading the existing topic and interacting a little with the rest of the participants. People take NaNoWriMo very seriously, asking opinions about their plots and debating about varied subjects. There is also a strong component of general knowledge, with abundant and well explained message for those who are researching material for their novels.

Finding a few writing buddies to follow is important too. Writing 50000 words in a month is no easy task, and many will be the moments where, I believe, I’ll feel like giving up. Which is why getting writing buddies becomes so essential. Having acquaintances in NaNoWriMo, either real life friends or internet ones, is an extra motivation, as people support each other. In the end, you may not even reach the finish line, but all the friendships you’ve made during the month remain. Besides, you’ll get yourself some quality ideas and concepts in the meantime.

For the ones who think 50000 words in a month is too much, NaNoWriMo has another alternative for you, the Young Writers Program, who offers the possibility to set a more realistic goal, where we are the ones to input the word count we want to achieve. It is recommended for kids and teenagers and, although I’d fit such category, I confesso I’d rather do the other WriMo, which is much more hardcore ;) And, if all of this is not enough, you also have the archives from all previous NaNoWriMo’s: all the foruns are stored in there, with thousands of topics each. That is equivalent to saying thousands of subjects, thousands of writing tips, thousands of writing conversations. It is pure food for thought. I dare you to enter the 2005 forum and to leave it not eager to grab a paper and a pencil.

You have until October the 30th to sign up. After that, it’s writing until your head burns :)