Taylor students take on National Novel Writing Month! Read the full article by Clara Elffers at theechonews.com to learn more about NaNoWriMo.
Stephanie Wadsworth, a junior social studies education major, has worlds in her head that she needs to get out.
Last November, she was able to write her fantasy world into reality with the help of a challenge called NaNoWriMo.
National Novel Writing Month, shortened to NaNoWriMo, is a challenge where writers across the globe strive to write 50,000 words during the month of November. If the challenge is completed, authors receive recognition and a small prize from the NaNoWriMo non-profit organization. Even more rewarding, however, is the inspiration NaNoWriMo gives authors to create working manuscripts of their novels.
Wadsworth has participated in NaNoWriMo for six years. This past year, she wrote 68,000 words in three weeks, completing the first draft of the first book in her high fantasy trilogy. The manuscript is currently undergoing its third round of edits, as Wadsworth prepares for self-publication.
Throughout the entire process, Wadsworth is driven by the prospect of the end result. Seeing such success last year will doubtless serve as a reminder of what is possible this November. During the upcoming 2021 NaNoWriMo, Wadsworth plans to work on the sequel to last year’s project.
However, individuals don’t have to commit to all 50,000 words to take part in NaNoWriMo. Kharis Rutherford, a junior creative writing major, looks forward to participating in her first NaNoWriMo challenge by writing 400–600 words a day this November, fleshing out a fantasy concept that she’s been itching to write for over a year.
Like Rutherford, Anna Molendorp, a sophomore professional writing major, also plans to engage in her own version of NaNoWriMo to assist her progress on a fantasy concept. She is well-acquainted with the challenge from years past, and though she has never met the goal, she still enjoys NaNoWriMo as a tool to help her get ideas on paper.
All of the participants acknowledge that college is a hard season of life to maintain NaNoWriMo’s average of 1,667 words per day. But Molendorp does not measure success solely by words written.
“We're all trying to write as much as we can,” Molendorp said. “And that on its own is exciting.”
Completing any of NaNoWriMo’s variations, especially as a college student, is an immense accomplishment. But the work doesn’t stop there.
Drafts will inevitably need edits and reworking once finished. However, during November, NaNoWriMo authors have the opportunity to forgo editing and write freely without second-guessing how it reads.
“Don’t edit,” Wadsworth said. “If you edit, you’re gonna regret it and that’s wasting time. That’s what December is for.”
Rutherford also encourages writers to fix the rough draft later. But above all, she hopes the people who engage in NaNoWriMo remain as carefree as possible.
NaNoWriMo is a beneficial tool that pushes authors to bring their ideas to life. Yet, doing anything beyond what is physically or mentally healthy defeats the entire purpose of the challenge: to have fun.
“The challenge is supposed to be fun in the first place,” Rutherford said. “Don’t take the joy out of that by being so hard on yourself.”
Ultimately, NaNoWriMo is an opportunity to have fun using the gifts that God has given you, creating something tangible that you can share with others.
“God is your inspiration,” Rutherford said. “He’s going to keep fueling you, He’s going to keep pouring that inspiration into you and you’re just the vessel that the ideas get to flow through.”
NaNoWriMo isn’t just for novelists. God sustains and inspires all believers, giving everyone something to write about.
Whether you are passionate about writing stories, articles, blogs or research papers, there is an opportunity within NaNoWriMo to take any idea that God pours into your head and put it on paper.
In the words of Molendorp, “If you have any inkling that you might want to do it, do it.”