In 1999, a group of friends got together to encourage each other to each reach the same goal, to write a novel in one month. They all knew their creations wouldn’t be perfect. As long as they reached 50,000 words, roughly the length of The Great Gatsby, they were going to call it a win and polish things up later. To make it all sound properly grandiose, they called the effort National Novel Writing Month, which would come to often be shortened to NaNoWriMo. The next year, they repeated the event and set up a Yahoo group to make it easier for everyone to talk to each other. That year 140 people joined the group and 29 people reached the word count. Since then the event has grown. It has a dedicated website now, NaNoWriMo.org, and last year 310,095 people signed up on the website to see if they could make it. Many didn’t finish (I know I didn’t) and many of those finished novels may never see the light of day, but it sure is fun to try.
Ask writers what they want in a workspace, and you’ll receive many different answers. Some need absolute quiet. Some find the bustle of people around them can provide inspiration. Some work best on a computer. Others say the words flow best when they are ink on paper. No matter how you want to try writing, the library can offer it up to you. We can also find the answer to that niggling research question you just can’t write that scene without or give a bolt of inspiration to get you unstuck. When everything is said and done, we can even give you the materials to help you with the revising and proofreading to polish up your labor of love so you feel more confident letting someone else read it.
We many already be a couple of weeks into the month, but don’t let that discourage you. My try this year is still only 532 words. (Eep!) I’ll be doing some marathon writing this weekend to try and catchup. College taught me that I can churn out pages of material in a night if I have a deadline hanging over my head. NaNoWriMo.org has plenty of stuff to inspire and encourage everyone along, and if you are looking for some face-to-face encouragement from your fellow authors, our Thibodaux branch is hosting Write Ins every evening in November. Come out and join us! Fan the spark of your creativity! No plot? No problem! The story shapes itself as you write it, and only you can write your story.
Patrons participating in National Novel Writing Month will be given time and space to work on projects alongside other participants, providing motivation and inspiration.