NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. It's an annual creative writing project, in which participants try to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I did it in November 2003 and documented it in ReadWriteWeb. While the resulting work of art was very average, and thankfully long ago purged from the RWW server, I had a lot of fun writing the book and discovered some new things about myself.5 years ago, before this blog was a media business, I participated in
In this post I check back in with the NaNoWriMo website to see what's changed over the years; and how much social web technology it's now using.
According to Wikipedia the NaNoWriMo project was started by Chris Baty in July 1999, with 21 participants in the San Francisco Bay area. The website was launched in 2000 and participants at that time communicated with each other via a Yahoo! group. In 2000, 140 participants attempted NaNoWriMo and 21 wrote 50,000 words. The site continued to grow and in 2007, a record 101,767 people registered - a bit over 15,000 of those managed to complete their 50k novel by the deadline. According to the NaNoWriMo twitter account, the current tally for 2008 is 118,583 authors, with 4,343 'winners' so far.
What's more, the site has raised $272,768 - NaNoWriMo is run by Office of Letters and Light, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity. It's very open on where the money goes.
As well as the much-used forums, there is NaNoWriMo activity happening in many places across the Web. You can read the NaNoWriMo blog, install a Firefox add-on to display your progress, upload a pic to the Flickr group, tweet your progress, skim the Mahalo page, listen to WrimoRadio (the official podcast), and much more. However, it's fair to say that most of the discussions are still happening in the official forums. As of today there are 19,354 threads and 307,760 posts in there. So things haven't changed too much.
From the NaNoWriMo "Write-In Event"; InfoCommons@West; November 19, 2008; pic by UF InfoCommons
Other Pic: Sashala
Let us know if any RWW readers participated in NaNoWriMo this year - perhaps you're busy frantically putting the finishing touches to your novel right now! I know how you feel :-)