November. The month of Thanksgiving. You know what else more? In a few weeks, it’s the official #NaNoWriMo – a fun program for young writers that happens every November 1st, all the way to the 30th. After all, it’s that time of the year that ordinary everyday individuals get a sudden craving for the taste of ink and deep thought, thus choosing to step into the arena to endorse in the NaNoWriMo buzz. Hoping to fire away your novelist writing skills? This just might be the perfect option for you.
Basically, the National Novel Writing Month is a writing event where the challenge is to complete an entire novel in just 30 days. You got it, an entire novel by the end of November. For one whole month, you get to flaunt your inner author, let your imagination take over, and just be inventive!
The whole process is pretty simple – each participant begins writing on November 1st and must finish by midnight, November 30. The word-count goal for the adult program is 50,000 words, but the Young Writers Program (YWP) permits 17-and-under participants to set reasonable yet challenging word-count goals of their own. This means the students can get an opportunity to become an author for a month while still balancing all their schoolwork without much of a stress.
In 2014, over 300,000 adults participated through the main site, and nearly 90,000 young writers and students participated through the YWP. This year, the event’s popularity is continuing to grow as people all over the world are still pursuing to join this program. Although in South Korea, the popularity seems comparatively less, as there are a total of only 36 participants so far in the regions of Seoul and Busan.
NaNoWrimo also has a badge system, where the participant’s account dashboard displays a series of badges – one for each major action the individual can perform. A badge is gray until you earn it, and you achieve that by clicking it and performing the appropriate action. If an action isn’t currently available – for example, winning before late November – the badge is solid gray. Some of the variety of badges you can earn to feel accomplished are Profile Badge, Region Badge, Forum Badge, Writing Buddy Badge, and many more.
In the end, you don’t have to be a writer to experience merit. If not realized already, the most beautiful thing about writing is that you finally get the chance to stop being a consumer for once and start creating yourself. Everyone has spent their whole lives consuming endlessly, and maybe it’s time to do the opposite. Take your time to expand and create, just for the joy of it. Even if this experience doesn’t reward you anything, it’s the question of whether you would still be willing to persevere or not.
Just remember that it’s the taking part that counts. If you do happen to reach the magical 50,000 words – congratulations. If not, understand that you have still succeeded in challenging yourself and regard yourself as a winner anyway. It is the journey of your story that values the most. Have fun and good luck!
– Ashley Kim (‘18)