Article by Gitika Bose

Do you like a challenge? National Novel Writing Month has arrived, meaning writers from all over the world are sitting down at their computers, each in an attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Professional and amateur writers are provided with a forum to track their progress, get pep talks, and engage with fellow writers.

As it is online, people are able to join encouraging communities, and share their progress, many making daily word count goals and keeping themselves motivated by keeping their eyes on the prizes for finishing, like writing workshops with famous authors and publishing packages. Melissa Dy, a senior at ISM who has attempted it before, “likes this challenge aspect, as it makes the experience unique.”

While a challenge is always fun, for some writers it may be a little unrealistic. Melissa admits, “such a task can be difficult because I’m a slow writer.” She acknowledges that “writing is hard, especially writing an entire novel in a month.” According to her, it is not entirely realistic and doesn’t have to be. Instead it is about getting writers started as sometimes people just need the push.

For other aspiring writers, while the challenge is fun, it is not the ideal environment to let their creative juices flow. Albena Labib, a senior at ISM who considered partaking in such a program, shares, “while I like the idea of the challenge and think it could be fun, I personally prefer to write more freely. The thought of constricting my writing to one month and adhering to a word count makes it harder for me to think creatively. However, admittedly, NaNoWriMo has its benefits in that it is good motivation for all writers!”

If you enjoy writing and answered “yes!” to my first question, NaNoWriMo might just be the perfect opportunity for you. While such an environment may not suit your writing style, it could be a positive start to your journey as a writer!

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