NaNoWriMo as a College Student #TheStruggle

Staff Writer: Christell Victoria Roach
30 Nov. 2016


This month Loose Canons lead a NaNoWriMo project for Emory’s literary community through Facebook. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an annual (November) writing project observed by writers and professionals all around the world. The project is focused on writing a novel in a one month, and leads authors through the process of development, providing them with community and inspiration.

This year, Emory Loose Canons lead a NaNoWriMo project in order to promote their ‘Literature as Lifestyle’ movement. Christell Victoria Roach was charged with delivering a prompt each day of the month for the writers to get writing. As college students, it is rather unrealistic to attempt to write a full novel in the middle of midterms and finals. However, as emerging writers it is realistic to promote writing as more of a lifestyle practice than an assignment.

The mission of Loose Canons’ NanoWriMo project was to get students to be held accountable by their art, writing. In an effort to achieve this mission, a very transparent approach to administering prompts was given, where Christell would post prompts in the mornings, at lunch, in the evenings, in class, between class, and on weekends. Generally these are times when students have their free time within the week. Prompts sent out sought to pervade the intimacy of free time and encourage individuals to carry their art with them to that space.

We sought to promote the artistry of writing as a responsibility to the individual, as opposed to an obligation of hobby. There were days missed, days compounded, and series of days made up for. In leading this project, the obligation to post forced Christell to confront her personal writing practice and commit to it. There were days spent writing in every ounce of free time, that produced prompts. There were days spent in search of words.

From this project maybe 1-5 poems may be of value to you presently. Perhaps you wrote a poem to make sure you wrote it. Perhaps you wrote a poem because you were bored and had free time. Whatever the reason, work was created that was not an assignment, and you weren’t being graded for. As emerging writers, stripping the external duty from the call, and creating an internal siren is the goal.

Passion overrides talent. It takes an incredibly talented person to shell out 30 amazing poems in one month. Surely many may envy them. However, it takes a passionate person to show up for their art every day, whether that is writing a poem, reading, feeding their creative word bank with other arts, or simply observing time and space for individual desires.

The Emory Loose Canons’ NaNoWriMo 30/30 project is now an inventory of prompts that hopefully assist you during the break, and into next semester in pursuing a literary lifestyle.