The ultimate writing challenge: 50,000 words. 30 days. Making creativity a #1 priority. It’s NaNoWriMo! In this episode of the KWL Podcast, US Manager Christine Munroe interviews Grant Faulkner, the Executive Director of NaNoWriMo.
Christine and Grant discuss:
- The origins of NaNoWriMo, which began in 1999 with 21 writers. It now supports hundreds of thousands of writers across the globe.
- Why November? If you can write a novel in November, you can write one anytime. It’s a busy time of year leading into the December holidays.
- The division between the “planners” and the “pantsers,” those who work out all of the details of their story ahead of time… and those who wing it on November 1. Grant recommends a middle ground of taking time in October to think through what you want to write, but also allowing the creative improv of NaNoWriMo to take your writing and ideas in new directions.
- NaNoWriMo’s other initiatives, including Camp NaNoWriMo and the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program.
- NaNoWriMo empowers everyone to call themselves writers. Grant says, “You are a writer, because you write… You’re going to take more creative dares when you view yourself as just as legitimate as Stephen King, or J.K. Rowling, and you are… You share the same struggles they share.”
- The effective writing tools inherent within NaNo that writers can use all year:
- Set goals and measure your progress (for example, with daily word counts).
- Engage with the writing community – your fellow wrimos. #amwriting
- Get rid of your inner editor and just write. Embracing the speed-writing element of writing 1,667 words a day will bring out new ideas.
- Sit down and write. Every day.
- Even if you don’t “win” by hitting the 50k word count, every participant is a winner for choosing to make creativity a priority. If you write 10,000 words in November, and keep that up all year, that’s 120,000 words – a long novel!
- No one is too busy for NaNoWriMo – so “put that excuse away!” Grant says.
- What happens on December 1? What to do with those 50,000 words? NaNoWriMo walks writers through the next steps in the writing process (revisions, revisions, revisions!) through online forums which stay live all year, their blog, tweet chats, webcasts, and more.
KWL is proud to sponsor NaNoWriMo 2015. Stay tuned as we get closer to November and re-launch KoboWriMo, our intrepid team of Kobo writers embarking on this creative adventure.
Grant Faulkner likes big stories and small stories. He is the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month and the co-founder of 100 Word Story. He believes quite simply that everyone is a writer—that we create our world through the stories we tell—so he prods everyone he meets to write their story and discover how life can be transformed through a daring creative act. His stories and essays have appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times, Poets & Writers, and Writer’s Digest. He’s recently published a collection of one hundred 100-word stories, Fissures.
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