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Turn Your Campus Bookstore into a NaNoWriMo Workshop

Posted by T.A. Nathan on 10/9/19 9:00 AM
Topics: campus bookstore, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo Prep

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is on the horizon. Students will flock to their pens and keyboards to work on their submission, however, one thing every NaNoWriMo participant needs is a quiet place to write. This is a great opportunity for campus bookstores to connect with students and offer helpful resources for NaNoWriMo prep.

Turn Your Campus Bookstore Into a NaNoWriMo Workshop

NaNoWriMo and the Campus Bookstore

National Novel Writing Month is a writing challenge that is held every November. The event challenges participants to write and submit 50,000 words before the end of the month. The National Novel Writing Month organization is a non-profit dedicated to providing “structure, community, and encouragement,” for aspiring writers.

NaNoWriMo isn’t necessarily a race to the finish-line. It’s a personal battle with self-discipline and time management. It pushes writers to take the first step on their writing journey and put pen to paper. Those 50,000 words won’t write themselves. It’s no easy feat either-take it from someone who just barely crossed the finish line last year.

Writing 50,000 words in a month equates to approximately 1,667 words a day. Imagine writing an essay for a university class every single day for a month straight. It’s enough to drive anyone to a caffeine addiction and zombie like sleeplessness.

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

Before NaNoWriMo begins, consider setting up a time and place for participants to meet up together. Networking and accountability with other writers are part of the NaNoWriMo experience. You could have them work together on something fun like a writing prompt to get their imaginations flowing.

Once NaNoWriMo starts, you could plan more events for writers to meet up and write together. If time and resources don’t allow that then try to provide a place where participants can enjoy a nice cup of coffee and get a bite to eat while putting words on the page.

Leverage your position on campus. Partner with the English department to host a NaNoWriMo writing lab. They may have an educator who’s willing to assist with writing questions or provide input on basic writing techniques.

A place to write

One of the biggest culprits preventing writers from writing is distractions. Finding a place to focus on writing can be difficult when entertainment is so easily accessible. Some writers are more productive if they leave home and venture out to places like coffee shops.

If your campus bookstore is large enough, why not provide these writers with a place to write? See if there’s a portion of your campus bookstore that you could re-purpose with a couple chairs and a table or two. Ensure there’s little to no distractions that could pop up during the times you’ve allotted for participants to sit-in.

Some extra things you could do to create a friendly environment would be to play some classical music or ambient noise. Also, have adequate lighting.

Share writing tips on your social media

Give your social media channels a boost by periodically posting tips throughout the month with the NaNoWriMo hash tag. You can find tons of helpful tips and suggestions on how to tackle NaNoWriMo with a Google search. Writer’s Digest is a good start. Just make sure to provide a link to your sources.

Some tips we suggest include:

  • Write early — The earlier you get to writing, the faster you’ll hit your daily goal. Try to incorporate writing into your morning routine.
  • Set a daily goal — The most important part of setting goals is being realistic, don’t expect to get all 50,000 words done in the first week.
  • Use writing prompts — If you feel you can’t come up with any ideas then try using writing prompts. They are an excellent thought-provoking experiment that can reignite your imagination.
  • Give yourself a breather — Once you’ve hit your goal for the day, give yourself some time to recuperate before the next day’s grind. You can sit back and watch T.V. or play video games, really anything that helps you relax.

If some or all these suggestions aren’t accessible for your campus bookstore, don’t fret. If you can’t think of any other ways to aid, contact the NaNoWriMo liaison in your local region to get ideas. If you have questions about how NaNoWriMo works or would like to take part further, check out their website at https://nanowrimo.org


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