by Taylor Follett
Every November, a community of writers, professional and non-professional alike, embark on a challenge: to write at least 50,000 words of a novel, without starting prior and without going back and editing. National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, encourages writers to push themselves to write an average of 1,666 words a day with the help of a virtual community, which also stages in-person meet-ups throughout the month, including at the UC Berkeley Library.
Some more meticulous authors may shudder at the thought of writing 50,000 words without rereading or editing, especially in only thirty short days. But there are many reasons why an author might do NaNoWriMo. The stakes, especially for a new author, may seem less daunting, when one is writing alongside a community of over 28,000 other writers. The time crunch discourages people from abandoning a work they are beginning to doubt. The editing ban stops people from being overly critical of their work before there’s enough of it to properly evaluate.
For curious readers, or writers who are just hitting the midway point of a very difficult task, NaNoWriMo has had its fair share of successes. It may seem like an impossible task, but there are several bestselling books that are the final products of a novel that began in NaNoWriMo, from new and established authors alike. Some of these books made the author’s name, some allowed established authors to try new things, and some have already had bestselling movie adaptations made.
You can find the full list of NaNoWriMo novels that were published here, but for now, check out some of the bestsellers at the Library that credit NaNoWriMo with their origin:
Whether as a writer or a reader, join us for NaNoWriMo 2018!