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San Diego Writers, Ink: November is National Write a Novel Month

by Blake Bunch, published
A typewriter - what writers used to publish with.


James Joyce took the better part of seventeen years to complete A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Hemingway and Fitzgerald went through hundreds of rejection letters before they had even published a singular short story. Writers procrastinate; they run with ideas that often lead nowhere, they're unorganized, and often display a tendency to be excessive. These are often misleading stereotypes, however, as the modern writer has technological capabilities not seen in the past, making publishing one's work a readily available possibility. Luckily for writers in San Diego there is San Diego Writers, Ink (SDWI), which serves as an educational workspace for literary aficionados. November is National Write a Novel Month, so thousands will find inspiration to get wrapped up in that unfinished project.

San Diego Writers, Ink spans much more than a basic literary circle. Operating out of  a vastly creative locale, The Ink Spot in Little Italy, SDWI serves as a hub for writers and artists of all levels and credos. The membership-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit offers writing classes, groups, workshops, readings, and countless other literary events. Their aim is to foster writing and the appreciation of literature, and truly provide a forum in enhancing the arts.

Jack London photos exhibited at the San Diego Maritime Museum

Jack London

A rather affordable cost, membership at SDWI only costs thirty-five dollars a year for individuals. Memberships for whole households is not much more expensive, only fifty dollars, and they offer twenty dollar memberships for students and those with low incomes (writers).

These memberships include perks to all amenities SDWI has to offer, including discounted courses and access to the Room to Write. Room to Write is a sanctuary for those attempting to shake off that summer case of writer's block, and is a quiet, productive workspace.

Since November is National Write a Novel Month (NaNoWriMo), writers around the world will be paying homage to the blank page and written word. This one-month endeavor entails writing at least 50,000 words by November 30 at 11:59pm.

In 2011, there were 256,618 participants of  NaNoWriMo, and 36,843 of them were able to complete their novels. Now that is speed writing  - if one were to begin today, they would basically have to write one word a minute until the end of the month.

The notion that one will write the most enduring work ever is always plausible, but history should definitely be noted when approaching this task. Keep in mind that for most writers now held in esteem in academia and with laymen, wealth and fame/infamy came posthumously.

The inherent beauty of groups like SDWI, as well as participating in NaNoWriMo, is that all are welcome. Everyone has something they would like to write about, but the process endured to complete a novel, especially in such a short period is a damned and daunting task. Hats off to those who finish within the allotted time; also to those who make a vain attempt.

Tonight, November 8, from 6-9pm, SDWI will be holding a workshop hosted by Marni Freedman. The workshop is an addition to their "boot camp" series, in which writers can learn key ways to succeed in pitching their novel or screenplay. Tickets are $45 for members, and $54 for non-members.

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