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Cat in the Stax: Celebrating Creative Writing

As Falvey’s Cat in the Stax, Rebecca writes articles covering a broad range of topics, from academics to hobbies to random events.¬†All the while highlighting how Falvey Library can enhance your Villanova experience!

Happy November, everybody! I hope you all had a fun Halloween full of sweets, socializing, and spookiness! But now it’s time to put away the fake spiders and pull out the cornucopia (or the Christmas lights for those of you who start preparing for Christmas two months in advance).

There is so much to celebrate this month in addition to Thanksgiving. While November is a time for thankfulness, it is also a time for creativity as well. For the creative writers out there, this is the month for you!

Photo by Aaron Burden from Unsplash.com

November 1st marks two important occasions. First, today is National Author’s Day! Established by Nellie McPherson in 1928, this day is dedicated to celebrating authors and their literary creations. Curling up with your favorite book or a work by a beloved author is a great way to honor the world of literature. Falvey can help you celebrate National Author’s Day by helping you find books through its expansive search catalogue. Or you can support your favorite writers by purchasing their books either online or at your local bookstore. However you decide to do it, take some time today to honor the craft of storytelling.

If you are a writer yourself, then chances are you know that today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This month challenges writers all over the country to write 50,000 words of their novel in 30 days. Hopefully you’ve done some prep work the past few weeks by planning out your novel and developing a writing schedule; it’ll make winning NaNoWriMo much easier. But don’t feel bad if you don’t “succeed” by writing 50,000 words! The percentage of people who “win” this challenge every year is very small: typically 11%. So even if you don’t reach the word count, congrats, you’ll be in the majority! The purpose of National Novel Writing Month is to get you thinking about your story and practicing your craft. Use the month of November to get serious about your writing, but don’t stress too much over accomplishing your end goal.

Nevertheless, here are some tips to help you out as you undertake this intense challenge. Remember: it’s all about time management and sticking by your plan, but don’t be afraid to change up your routine later if it is no longer working!

Set Weekly Goals

Writing 50k words in one month seems overwhelming, and it is in no way an easy feat. However, you can break this massive word count down into bite-size chunks so the goal is not so lofty. How many words do you want to hit during the week? Is this number different than what you want to accomplish during the weekend? This will also help you avoid becoming distraught and giving up.

Join a Writing Group

You’re more likely to succeed if you have people supporting you, encouraging you, and holding you accountable. National Novel Writing Month can be a great bonding activity to do with writer friends! Or, you can join a writing group through the NaNoWriMo community.

Don’t Edit!

It can be so tempting to review your work and edit it, but you must resist the urge! The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write. You have all of December, January, February, March, and so on to edit, revise, and perfect your novel.

Allow Yourself a Day Off

Create a writing schedule that works for you. Whether that be writing for 20-30 min every day or only writing on the weekends, do what works best with your routine and habits. That being said, don’t feel bad when you have an off day and don’t feel like writing (because you will very likely have an off day during this month). If you make yourself feel guilty or try to force yourself to write, you’re just going to make yourself feel worse which will negatively impact your writing. Use any off days as a day to take it easy, take your mind off writing, and do something you love. You’ll feel refreshed and energized when you return to your novel.


Rebecca AmrickRebecca Amrick is a first year graduate student in the English Department and a Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.


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Last Modified: November 1, 2023

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