Here, in very severely abridged form, is the NaNoWriMo creation story. (So much to read, so little time. Right?)
“The year was 1999, and I was working as a writer in the San Francisco Bay Area, drinking way too much coffee and watching the dot-com boom rewrite the rules of life around me.
…It was a delicious, surreal moment, and in the middle of it all I decided that what I really needed to do was write a novel in a month. Not because I had a great idea for a book. On the contrary, I had no ideas for a book.
…the very first National Novel Writing Month took place two weeks later, with almost everyone I knew in the Bay Area on board. …twenty one of us…we knew we loved books. And so we set out to write them.
…we laughed and toasted one another’s complete lack of preparation and dismal chances of success with gusto.
…And that, on July 1, 1999, was how National Novel Writing Month began.” (pp.7-14)
Some noteworthy statistics.
NaNo 1999: 21 / six 50K winners
NaNo 2000: 140 / 29 50K winners (Note that the month changed to November the 2nd year.)
NaNo 2001: 5,000
NaNo 2010: 200,000
NaNo 2013: 310,095 / 42, 221 50K winners
And here is an astonishing statistic: “NaNoWriMo is now responsible for more fiction each year than all of America’s creative writing programs combined.” (pg. 20)
Ready to get on the bandwagon? Or is that keyboard?
Baty, C. (2004). No Plot? No Problem!. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.