JJC moves NaNoWriMo online

This month all over the world, writers will attempt to write a novel in 30 days.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a month-long challenge that began in the 1990s. Writers attempt to write a 50k word novel in November. NaNoWriMo has produced many well-known pieces of fiction over the years.

Water for Elephants, The Night Circus, and The Lunar Chronicles are just some bestselling books that began as projects for NaNoWriMo. Since then it has grown into a large community for writers all over the world.

Kat Kallan, a fellow writer and JJC student, mentioned how the pandemic has affected her motivation. “Honestly, the pandemic has increased my writing output given how long I was off during the quarantine,” she said.

Kallan also mentioned she plans to balance writing with other responsibilities by hitting her daily goal in the morning.
The JJC library has hosted events for NaNoWriMo in the past. This year is no different, with the exception that programs will be held virtually in light of the current pandemic. All events are free and open to the public. One does not have to be registered for NaNoWriMo to participate in the library’s events.

“Libraries have historically been a home for writers, so our providing online programming space seems a natural progression in our desire to support them.” Michelle Roubal, librarian and professor at JJC said.

One event is the annual NaNoWriMo Kick Off event. This event is hosted by Jeffrey Fisher. Fisher has won NaNoWriMo multiple times.

When asked about how programming has been affected by the pandemic Roubal said, “National Novel Writing Month is already internet-famous the world over, so transitioning our programs and write-ins, along with those offered regionally and nationwide, online has been a very easy decision and an essential next step in these times.”

Other events include virtual Write In sessions and Library Crawls. Write Ins offer writers the chance to interact with fellow writers and engage in various activities. One activity is word wars. Word wars are timed sprints where writers write as many words during the time limit.

Word wars are a way to get words onto the page, even if they end up being edited out. NaNoWriMo is about writing, not editing.

Writing is a way to explore various topics and outlets. When asked how writing has impacted her mental health Kallan said, “There’s something really cool about being able to express anything good or bad through a removed, fictional medium.”