If you’re not one of the more than 100,000 giddy writers who eagerly looks forward to writing a novel in 30 days, let me explain. NaNoWriMo means National Novel Writing Month. Each November I (and many others) take a stab at writing a 50,000 word novel – not because I expect to get published – but because the process itself is satisfying. In fact, part of the joy is diving in to the challenge together. My fellow writers and I use the social networking site to monitor our progress against our peers, as well as to converse about sticky points in our manuscripts. This reminded me of GlobalGiving itself. Here are other points of similarity:
- Both sites are designed to foster competition against oneself, with specific time deadlines. (We use the new project challenge to kick-start new organizations)
- Writers get weekly “pep talks” from famous writers. (Granted, we’re not “famous” at GlobalGiving, but we try to give good pep talks!)
- Writers provide regular updates to their pages on progress, and send “nano mails” to peers. (GlobalGiving helps projects keep donors updated on progress regularly)
- We chart our own progress towards 50,000 words daily, and follow each other’s chart on profile pages.
- We do it out of love, with only a handful of writers realizing that it takes money to keep the platform humming along. NaNoWriMo depends on donations, just like GlobalGiving.
- Everyone can win by writing a NaNoWriMo. On their “about us” page, they say they “value enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft.”
- Creates a strong “we’re in this together” mentality.
National Novel Writing Month is all about getting people to take their first plunge into writing without risk. I look to them as a model for the sort of friendly environment we hope to foster for the world of nonprofits. GlobalGiving is a safe place to start a relationship with people from a distant country or just down the street, by giving as little as $10 to a cause you share with them. You never know – relationships like these might lead to that great idea for a novel.