April 22, 2019

BY JESSICA HAMMER

Bring out the pens and paper because it’s time to finish that novel tucked away under the bed or hidden behind the dresser.

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November is National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. Participants are supposed to write a 50,000-word novel by Nov. 30.
NaNoWriMo is a non-profit organization that encourages creative people to write empowering stories and develop connections with fellow writers. Writers of all ages are welcome to join.

“You have that support and that community; you have other people who are working toward a similar goal so it’s much easier to stick with it, especially when you have friends working towards the same thing,” said Jessica Chivers, one of the municipal liaisons in the Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge area.

Throughout the month there are events going on for writers to participate in, including an all-nighter event which was held on Nov. 6 at the Kwartzlab Makerspace in downtown Kitchener. Two of the writers even brought their typewriters. About 20 NaNoWriMo participants came together to socialize and support each other’s writing.

“I’ve been writing on and off since I was seven. It just feels like it’s in my blood by this point,” said Ben Stoddard, a writer at the all-nighter event. “It can be therapeutic and it can be exciting.”

Anyone who likes to write knows self-imposed deadlines are often hard to reach and finding the time to sit and put pen to paper can be difficult. NaNoWriMo might be the best time to get some writing done because it forces writers to write more and achieve more in the end with the different events and the support from other writers and the municipal liaisons.

“Even if you don’t hit the goal of 50,000 words the worst possible thing that happens is you have part of a novel written. There really is no losing,” said Chivers.

“There is a whole community of writers behind you to cheer you on,” Ness Ricci-Thode, another municipal liaison, said.

There will be another all-nighter event on Nov. 28. For more information on the organization or on other events go to www.nanowrimo.org/

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