I’ll ask it straight up: Ever wanted to write a novel? This upcoming November, you can. And, to make it even better: you can do it for a cause.
National Novel Writing Month is a fun filled, month long event in which people from all over the world band together and each attempt to write a 50,000 word novella about anything of their choice. The primary goal is word count, and not content, which means there may just be elongated descriptions of everything and anything, from the dirt on the floor to a thought about a melon. Serious or hilarious, sexual or child like, each novel begins to take on characteristics of its own that makes its creation worth the world to its author.
But, National Novel Writing Month is not only about the writing. It’s writing for a purpose. National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is, in itself, a non-profit organization. The program has running costs, server costs. Money raised for NaNoWriMo is used directly to offset the costs of the wonderful programs they have.
One such program is the laptop rental program, in which people who do not make enough money to have a reliable computer can rent a laptop for the month. The cost of shipping, storing, and maintaining these computers must be offset by donations. In addition, NaNoWriMo sends materials to each of its leaders in different regions – freebies, flyers, posters – to advertise and make the events such as the Kick Off parties more enjoyable.
NaNoWriMo also attempts to support K-12 schools and teachers. It has a youth program and secure website just for that group. Teachers can apply to NaNoWriMo for help in introducing the program into their classroom. The program itself forces anyone participating to become better writers. If a more educated and literate youth is what you’re looking for: support NaNoWriMo.
There are two main ways in which people can donate to the organization. The first, through participation, is most rewarding. Donation sheets are passed around, and it becomes like a marathon: “I will write 50,000 words this month if you will donate $5 to the program to offset costs that fund programs for youth across the country”. These donations can then be sent to NaNoWriMo itself at the end of the month.
The second way is to simply donate directly to receive some benefits from NaNoWriMo, or buy something from their online store. Their store usually offers such things as t-shirts, posters and stickers. In any case, the act of donating to National Novel Writing Month means that you’ve done something to help a fringe program whose benefits are positively felt across the world. Ask any participant: when you ‘cross that finish line’, you’re on top of the world. If those reasons aren’t enough, consider this: in the past, National Novel Writing Month donated 50% of their net proceeds to programs that helped to build libraries in impoverished countires. Who doesn’t want that?