Penning a novel. (Photo by: Jade Hanley)

by Jade Hanley

Have you ever had a 3 a.m. idea that circles in your brain but has the potential to be so much more?

Welcome to National Novel Writing Month!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a non-profit writing event that occurs every Nov. Starting Nov. 1 and continuing until the last day of the month at midnight, the goal is to reach 50,000 words towards a novel.

According to, the purpose of the non-profit organization is to arrange events “where children and adults find the inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to achieve their creative potential.”

There are different programs that NaNoWriMo offers to help the creative process, such as The Young Writers Program, The Come Write In Program, and Camp NaNoWriMo, all of which are designed to encourage the creative process for people world-wide.

For young writers, the online program offers Common Core curriculum for those in the K-12 classrooms, which “promotes writing fluency, creative education, and the sheer joy of novel-writing.”

For older writers, the other programs give resources to community centers, both guidance and tools, whether the person is writing a novel or not.

Each year, National Novel Writing Month gains in popularity. Last year, there were over 300,000 participants, and according to the press release, an estimated 400,000 will be participating by the end of Nov. this year.

There are simple ways to begin writing the rough draft for your novel, whether it’s opening Microsoft Word or starting an account on Either way, participants are encouraged to track their progress and word count.

By Nov. 30 at midnight, it’s not about how many words you’ve written, but the content involved and whether or not you’ve found inspiration and creativity behind the writing process.