NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is the the challenge to write an entire novel in the month of November. Typically there is a word count goal ranging anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 words to complete.
Many students in the creative writing and journalism programs at Steinbrenner have decided to take on this task. Creative writing teacher Eric Vona has encouraged his students to participate by allowing his students to use their novel as credit for his class and by keeping track of their writing progress on a poster on his door, as he does every year.
Writing a novel by itself is no easy feat, yet alone doing it in only 30 days.
“It was really hard to find the motivation and inspiration to sit down and write a thousand or so words every single day.” said Lexi Velte, Senior student writer and co-editor-in-chief of the Echo.
NaNoWriMo has taught students many important aspects in writing such as the importance of a deadline, how to write everyday, how to plan and draft properly, and more.
It’s been a very important part to discovering young writers’ abilities and limits, and really challenges a writers’ levels of determination.
“NaNoWriMo pushed me to start writing a little each day and it forced me to challenge myself to be as creative as I could in a limited amount of time,” Thais Jacomassi said.
Part of what makes NaNoWriMo so interesting is that it has built it’s own community of writers. There are endless websites, Twitter threads, and hashtags dedicated to this event. Many young writers have confided their writing struggles and received advice in these forums. There is even an official NaNoWriMo website to track writing progress, get merchandise, talk to other writers, and more.
Even famous authors such as John Green and Neil Gaiman have spoken out about the importance of NaNoWriMo and gave words of encouragement to those who decided to participate. They’ve gone so far as created YouTube videos and write inspirational letters that are featured on the official NaNoWriMo website.
“I learned that sitting down and writing a thousand words a day is doable, and it eventually becomes second nature. It was so exciting to take on this challenge, and the reward was incredible: a finished, if not rough draft of, a novel,” Kayla Halls said.
Overall, NaNoWriMo has been an important aspect to many young writers at Steinbrenner, and will continue as a tradition for many years to come.
Doreen Coreen // Co-A&E Editor and Social Media Manager