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by Tommie McPhetridge, Moses Lake Public Library, NCW Libraries

What is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo is shorthand for National Novel Writing Month, held during the entire month of November. NaNoWriMo is a celebration of writers; and since 1999, a challenge to both established and novice authors to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

Inspiring creative minds everywhere, each November various pods pop up of local writers who motivate each other to complete the challenge. The challenge itself is run by the NaNoWriMo organization, a non-profit that facilitates the competition and offers writing camps for its participants to learn from the pros. They have linked together nearly 800,000 people around the world who all share the same goal of writing a novel; no editing, no proofreading, just words on paper (or a screen!) for the month of November.

Libraries around the nation support NaNoWriMo and it’s participants in many ways: offering books for inspiration, books to improve your writing skills, and groups to write with!

NaNoWriMo is not only for creative writers, but it is for writers of any style or age with their Young Writer’s Program, a separate cohort for writers under the age of 18! November is also National Memoir Month.

Whether you are writing a memoir, autobiography, or a novel, challenge yourself this year with NaNoWriMo! Sitting on a book idea for a long time? Itching to share your thoughts with the world? Want to try for the fun of it? 2020 is your year! Here are some tips to help motivate you!


  1. If you don’t know where to start, begin at, where you can find all of the current information for NaNoWriMo 2020, connect with other writers, and start the challenge yourself.
  2. Don’t overthink it! Even if you don’t have the novel all planned out or you worry about those fuzzy parts in the middle, just write! The #1 piece of advice given by authors who have published books or won awards is to JUST WRITE! Even if the words aren’t great or nothing quite makes sense, make sense of it later when it is all on the page.
  3. Don’t be intimidated by 50,000 words. It definitely seems like a lot, especially if you slog to write a 500-word essay for school. If you don’t meet the goal, don’t beat yourself up, any progress is progress!
  4. Celebrate the little victories. Did you add a single word to your manuscript today? Congrats! That’s progress! Even best selling authors struggle to get words on the page, but they never let the hard days win. Celebrate that paragraph, chapter, or idea you came up with. You are doing great!
  5. Connect with others! Not only does the NaNoWriMo website have ways for you to connect, but check with your local Writer’s Groups for motivation, inspiration, and encouragement! There are NaNoWriMo chapters in Moses Lake and outside of Wenatchee. If those aren’t your fancy, call up a friend and ask them if you can bounce some ideas off of them and get their perspective!

Check back next week for a book list for writers! Good luck out there fellow Wrimos! Let’s get writing!

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