National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a world-wide event that takes place every November in which each participant tries "to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30." NaNoWriMo is a fun way for aspiring writers to put into practice that often-elusive secret to becoming a successful writer — B.I.C.
Also known as 'Butt In Chair.'
My husband participated for the first time this year and met his goal, reaching his 50,000 words by the deadline.
But my 10-year-old daughter, an aspiring writer, also chose to participate in NaNoWriMo's Young Writer's Program. Thankfully, youth who participate don't have to meet the 50,000-word goal like adult participants do; instead they can set their own word goal. Jerah set hers at 25,000 words, still a pretty steep goal for a 10-year-old, but one that was achievable with a little effort.
To meet her 25,000-word goal, Jerah would needed to write an average of 834 words a day. Thankfully, she knows how to type, so writing that many words a day was a bit easier than having to write every word by hand.
I was somewhat skeptical about whether she would stick with it the whole month. In fact, there were days when she only wrote a few hundred words. But she stuck with it — probably motivated a lot my the fact that her dad was also participating — and by November 29, one day early, Jerah reached her 25,000-word goal!
If I'd known ahead of time that she was going to be participating in NaNoWriMo, I would have had Jerah go through the NaNoWriMo Youth Writers Program Workbook. The free 100+ page workbooks (separate workbooks for elementary, middle school, and high school writers) take the writer through the process of planning and writing a novel. So even though we didn't get a chance to go through the curriculum for this year, I downloaded each of the workbooks for future use. They're a great resource, especially for homeschoolers.
Jerah hopes to be writer when she grows up, so NaNoWriMo was a fantastic experience for her. She learned how to plan ahead, how to stay motivated, and especially how to persevere in order to meet a goal that sometimes seemed a bit overwhelming.
As a homeschooling mom, I couldn't be happier that NaNoWriMo makes it so easy for kids to participate. And the free writing curriculum? What homeschooler doesn't love that?
This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday.