A Letter Explaining NaNoWriMo to Family & Friends - written by NaNoWriMo.org

A Letter Explaining NaNoWriMo to Family & Friends - written by NaNoWriMo.org

This was written by and posted on the official NaNoWriMo.org website and I share it with you here so that any can understand what's going on with my writing journey!


Dear Important Person, 

This November, I will be taking part—along with over 400,000 writers around the world—in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It's a wild, fast-paced creative writing event where the challenge is to write 50,000 words of the first draft of a novel in just 30 days. That’s 1,667 words (or about 6.5 double-spaced typed pages) a day! For comparison, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is 50,061 words and The Giver by Lois Lowry is 41,905 words. 

You might be thinking to yourself, “Why? Why are you doing this? Won’t it be hard? Won’t you get frustrated/bored/overwhelmed?” 

Thank you for your concern, dear Important Person! NaNoWriMo is an intense event. It’s about committing to a creative project for a month, even if that means staying up late or waking up early; even if it means the dirty laundry piles up or I don’t get to spend as much time with family and friends. It’s a month to challenge myself and explore all the dark, dusty corners of my imagination. So, yes, it’s probably going to be hard, but I hope it will be energizing and fulfilling, too. And who knows? I might not do anything else with my draft, but some novels, like Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, Sara Gruen's Water For Elephants, and Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, began as NaNoWriMo projects! 

Besides just being your awesome Important Person self, here are some ways you can support me during the month: 

  • Cheer me on, and celebrate with me when I reach milestones! 
  • Take on some of the chores I’m normally responsible for. 
  • Feed me! Unlike wild animals, writers love being fed. 
  • Ask me how my novel is going (but don’t push too hard if I don’t feel like talking about it).
  • If I give you something to read, treat it like the gift it is! First drafts are precious, messy, delicate things that mostly need encouragement and praise. Editing (and constructive advice) can come later. 
  • Be understanding of why I’m spending so much time alone (and maybe unshowered?).
  • If I’m writing, try not to interrupt me. You wouldn’t walk in on a surgeon in the middle of surgery! Well, hopefully you wouldn’t. Unless you’re a nurse or another surgeon. But back to the point: please give me space to write without distraction. 
  • Write with me! NaNoWriMo is more fun with a buddy. You could sign up at nanowrimo.org or, if you’re under 18, you can sign up on the Young Writers Program site at ywp.nanowrimo.org. 

Thank you, Important Person. I’m glad to have you in my creative corner, and hope I can do the same for you someday soon! 

- A Writer

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