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NaNoWriMo is good for your health


        NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month
             is overtaking writers around the world.

What in the world is NaNoWriMo and how can it possibly be good for my health?   Today is your lucky day because you are about to get the answer to both of those questions.  While you may not have known you were searching for those answers, by the time you finish this article you will find yourself much more informed on some of the lesser known facts of life.

Let's start with the first question; "What in the world is NaNoWriMo?"  NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.  In the month of November, would be authors commit themselves to finally writing their novel of at least 50,000 words.  There are authors who have been doing NaNoWriMo for years and there are authors who are trying their hand at it for the first time.  You do have to be 13 or older to use the NaNoWriMo site but they also have a Young Writers Program site for participants 12 and younger where they can set their own word goals for the month.  The idea is to get people writing.

Why join NaNoWriMo?  From the NaNoWriMo website:  "If you don't do it now, you probably never will. Novel writing is mostly a "one day" event. As in ""One day, I'd like to write a novel." Here's the truth: 99% of us, if left to our own devices, would never make the time to write a novel. It's just so far outside our normal lives that it constantly slips down to the bottom of our to-do lists. The structure of NaNoWriMo forces you to put away all those self-defeating worries and START."  Read more reasons to join here.  Also, it's free and all you have to do to be a winner is finish your 50,000 word novel by November 30th.

NaNoWriMo is already into its second week and so why should you be interested in it now?  Well, the first reason is that if you are really brave you can go ahead and join this year and crank out 50,000 words.  The second reason is that even if you don't do it this year you can enjoy the website, get to know what it is all about and plan to do it next year.  You can also make a contribution to help them assist other writers with their goals.  A contribution of just $10.00 pays for three hours of running their servers, "A $25 donation pays for us to adopt two classrooms taking part in our Young Writers Program, underwriting the costs of sending goodie-packed classroom kits that will inspire and encourage 70 budding authors (per their site)."  You can make larger donations as well.  All donations are tax deductible.

Second question.  How is NaNoWriMo good for my health?  There are many reasons writing is good for the health, we'll just highlight a few.

  • Having to write 50,000 words in only 30 days takes the pressure of perfectionism out of your writing and allows you to write just for the joy of writing.
  • Writing allows you to release pent up emotions and you can often use fictional or fantasy characters to work through "issues" for you as you write.
  • Using your brain in a creative way helps keep those pathways open.
  • Setting goals and achieving them is good for you.
  • NaNoWriMo allows you to connect with other writers in your local area where there are often writing groups getting together to write and encourage each other in their quest for 50,000 words.
  • The NaNoWriMo website offers encouragement, forums and lots of fun things to read.  The Procrastination Station is a great place to go when you are getting writers block or feeling like a good break.  Laughter is always the best medicine; you'll laugh a lot when you read some of the things posted there.
  • Checking out the cartoons posted by Debbie Ridpath Ohi will definitely relieve some stress!  Check out her cartoons here.

Now you know what NaNoWriMo is and why it is good for your health.  It's time to start using those keys on your computer for something other than doing random google searches or playing solitaire and get those brain cells working!  Join the crowd....there's sure to be someone in your area doing it too!


  • Alice 5 years ago

    What a fun, creative and engaging way to motivate writers :)

  • Brittany Baker - Allentown Vegetarian Examiner 5 years ago

    I just heard of NaNoWriMo for the first time this year. Great article, Mary Ann!