Writing a novel in 30 days can pose a challenge

A student’s experience in creating an individual masterpiece

Written By Amara Phillips, Copy Editor

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an annual writing project that begins on Nov. 1, where participants attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.  Anyone interested can create an account at nanowrimo.org, which is the official website that keeps track of your writing progress. This website is really fun and creative for anyone ambitious enough who wants to try writing an entire novel in 30 days. You can earn different badges when you hit specific word count goals, and receive motivational pep-talks from well-known writers to help keep you motivated. Nanowrimo.org also allows you to find other novel writing buddies, which is exciting because you will have someone to motivate and someone to motivate you as you push out those words.

This will be the second year I am contributing to NaNoWriMo and I am extremely excited. I wrote my first novel in the month of November a couple years ago as a senior in high school, and it was a painful process. I partially did it to impress my teacher and because I figured it would be a good form of therapy. Also, who wouldn’t want to say they wrote a novel?

My first novel is super embarrassing and I hope it never sees the light of day. It is titled “Bad Timing” and follows these two teens living in New York City as they create a passionate love story. Due to the fact I was 17 when I wrote this, it is full of classic teenage angst and poorly written romance. Despite the fact that it is overall a bad novel that is poorly written with a basic plot structure and flat characters, I don’t have it in me to delete it. This novel really depicts my mindset at the time and not to mention, it was extremely time consuming. I put in so much time and effort into my characters, and at the time I believed this to be a personal masterpiece, but looking back I feel differently.

NaNoWriMo really requires you to grind out a couple chapters daily to reach the word count of 50,000 and it requires a lot of coffee and lack of sleep if you are dedicated. I personally believe the dark under eye circles are worth it for the month of November. I think writing is the most underappreciated form of art, and this month sheds light to an art form that not many people think of. As an English Literature major, I can say the English field is dying. People genuinely don’t read novels as much as they used to, and we need more writers and more novelists to bring new ideas to society and to continue creating art in the form of words.

If you are thinking of doing NaNoWriMo, I encourage you to do so. Create an outline before you begin writing and try to pace yourself. Creating an entire world of your own with complex characters is the best escape from reality. I personally use writing as a form of therapy and I am definitely going to unleash a lot of my thoughts and emotions in my upcoming novel for November. I have been feeling really inspired lately as a result of some past events that have left me with so many pent up emotions. I think turning pain, anger and sadness into a piece of art is a beautiful concept.

Novel writing is fun and therapeutic, but also extremely stressful and time consuming. You are not always going to like what you create, and I think the main goal of completing a novel isn’t for the title, but for being proud of your newest accomplishment. I think you should be proud of what you have created. I felt an abundance of feelings when creating my first novel; at the beginning of my book I loved it, then I started to hate it. I became frustrated, because there were so many directions I could steer the plot and my mind became extremely indecisive when thinking about the fate of my characters. Outlining my novel helped a lot, but it didn’t help entirely because as I started writing, I got lost in this imaginary world I created.

It felt like I belonged with my characters, and as I was writing them I realized that they all felt real. They also all resembled pieces of my personality, the good, the bad and the ugly. I cried with my characters when they were facing pain, and I smiled with them when they finally saw the sunlight. When you create a novel, you become one with the story.

Writing can be used for so many reasons. You can write a novel to express yourself, you can write to help others or to inspire those around you. The reason you choose to write is important and I want you to pick wisely. What do you want to accomplish with your words? I hope you attempt to write a novel for the month of November and I hope you push through the challenges that arise on your writing journey, because there is nothing that feels more wonderful than finishing a project that you have put so much soul into. Let’s shine light on national novel writing month and draw attention to the underrated art form.