Ever since what I like to call the great depression of blogosphere in Bangladesh took place, it looks as though there are no writers in Dhaka, or in Bangladesh for that matter. Journalists and veteran bloggers aside, due to the lack of a platform, it appears that people no longer write long form. Some people who have a writer mind in them still do write in their personal blogs, others are done just by posting a Facebook status. I wonder, how many of the Dhaka people know that in this month of November, people all over the world become insane writers?
If you’re familiar with what I’m talking about, you have already guessed by that NaNoWriMo at the beginning of this post’s title. It’s a shortened form of National Novel Writing Month. It’s a challenge for aspiring writers to start writing the first draft of their novel and to finish writing at least 50,000 words by the end of the month.
As you can see on its Wikipedia page, NaNoWriMo has an official website that helps professionals and amateurs writers to keep track of their progress, fight writer’s block as well as meet other writers on the web. In the United States and in other countries around the world, writers hold real world meetups to discuss the difficulties they face when writing and how to overcome them.
NaNoWriMo is about getting the first draft out your head. Polishing is to be done later.
In a nutshell, the purpose of NaNoWriMo is to get the first draft out of the aspiring writers by forcing them to write. The challenge is not to come up with the perfect, polished novel, but to reach the goal of writing 50,000 words for the novel. Editing is a difficult but mandatory process of writing. But writing down the first part is even more difficult for most people. NaNoWriMo challenges writers to accomplish that first task.
You would be surprised to know that this internet-based writing project started in 1999 and there were only 21 participants at that time. By 2010, the event grew so big that there were over 200,000 people who took part in the challenge writing over 2.8 billion words! You can only imagine how bigger that has gotten since then.
Are you wondering if any good has ever come out of it? Well, writing is a tedious task and it’s no wonder that a lot of people simply give up after that enormous writing challenge. But those who don’t often accomplish even greater victory. You would be even more surprised to know that popular novels like Water for Elephants, The Night Circus, and The Darwin Elevator were results of their respective authors participating in National Novel Writing Month.
So, the people in Dhaka who have a habit of writing, have you ever heard of NaNoWriMo? If you’ve ever wanted to write a novel, it isn’t too late yet. You don’t necessarily have to write 50,000 words (although that is required to finish the challenge), but you could still start now and work towards your novel. I’ve seen plenty of people who dream of writing a novel someday, but are afraid to ever start. If you never start, you’ll never finish. A blank page will never help you finish your novel. But a first draft will.
Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? Did you ever think of participating, or maybe even publishing your own book? Let us know in the comments below.