This is my 100th article on the Soap Boxers. We have had a number of milestones over the last few weeks. Johnny had his 100th article two weeks ago and Kosmo posted the 1000th article for the site last week. I was originally brought on board for two reasons that I remember; to write about writing and to help fill in as a regular while Johnny was on a leave of absence. Although I have strayed into politics and sports on occasion, I have been regular in my postings, published articles on writing and provided short stories and chapters from larger works. It is almost two years since my first post, and if you search back into the archives, that post was to publicize an annual writing event called National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo.

It seems appropriate to return to that beginning. November is National Novel Writing Month. It was not designated by congress, nor is it recognized by any religious organization that I am aware of. It is a competition established by the office of The Office of Letters and Light. The idea is rather simple; during the month of November write a novel or at least part of a novel. The goal is 50,000 words in 30 days. If you succeed, you get some pretty nifty download stuff; icons and logos to show off on social media and an official winner’s certificate. No money, just the reward of actually writing, and some electronic recognition and bragging rights.

So why would anyone want to do this? That is also simple; to write just to write and have a lot of other people doing the same thing at the same time. NaNoWriMo has a community of other writing enthusiasts in regions across the globe. There are local groups who get together at coffee shops to provide companionship, encouragement and generally hang out. Registering is easy, you provide as much information as you are comfortable with and you write. I would recommend signing up now so that you are ready to hit the road running on November 1. You can participate in regional activity at what ever level you desire, attend all the meeting live or go it alone. Periodically through the month, and defiantly on the last day, you paste you work into a word counter to get an official tally and earn your rewards. None of what you copy into the site is saved, so you work is yours and yours alone.

The completion is to get people to write. Publishing is your own responsibility, although there are several helpful articles to get you going in the right direction. I have personally participated for the last two years and succeeded in getting to the 50,000 goal both times. My first effort will be released here on The Soap Boxers before Christmas (I know I have been promising release for a year now). My second effort is still a work in progress. Although well past 50,000 words, it is still far from complete.

Reaching the goal of 50,000 words is not as hard as it may seem. First, remember that everything you write does not have to end up in the final product. The idea is to encourage writing, even if some of it is trash. To make the goal, you have to average 1667 words per day. That may seem like a lot, but consider that this article is well over 800 words and it has taken me less than an hour to write. The beginning of the effort may be a struggle, but once you start putting words together and a story or multiple stories start popping into your head, it will get easier. In several of my earlier articles, I have put forth suggestions for plot development, character development and fighting writer’s block. If you have trouble writing one night, just start itemizing your day. In this way at least, you will be adding to your word count and practicing writing and who knows, some of it may end up in a best seller!

I hope that many of you choose to take up the challenge. Even if you do not formalize your writing efforts through NaNoWriMo, I hope that you try your hand at writing. At the very least, take the opportunity to post comments on the various articles here on The Soap Boxers. Each of us has written at least one controversial or at least provocative article over the years. What ever your passion, there is always something to write about. In his 1000th site article commentary, Kosmo related that I had stated that I should be paying him for the opportunity and forum that he provides for my writing attempts. I do believe that I owe him much more that he owes me. He provides this platform, not just for me, but for all of his writers and for all of the visitors to the site. All you have to do is write.

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Martin writes about writing in his weekly column Ramblings from Martin.

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