NaNoWriMo. It’s more than just a pretty acronym.

Houston is a great city - we all know this. There are so many local organizations doing great work in and for the community, it's hard to be anything else but a model of giving. Appropriately, Houston was the second most philanthropic city in the nation earlier this year. Here at 20K Group, we call ourselves "a communications agency with a conscience," and we want that to be more than just a tagline. We try to support the community in various ways, whether its volunteering for a cause we're passionate about or purchasing a table at a gala. Since we care about Houston (and know you do, too), we’ll be featuring one nonprofit on our blog per month to acknowledge their efforts on behalf of Houston's citizens. Which do you think could use some love? Let us know in the comments. How many of us have ever dreamed of writing the next Great American novel? It might have begun as a few sentences in a notebook, or a scribbled missive in a margin – the start of our great story. But, what if we actually sat down and finished those thoughts? What if we had time to just see where the sentences led and go from there? November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), an annual internet-based creative writing project that challenges participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel between November 1 and 30.

NaNoWriMo

Writers wishing to participate first register on the project's website, where they can post profiles and information about their novels, including synopsis and excerpts. Regional forums help connect local writers with one another for community writing events and to provide encouragement. (And yes, we have some in Houston.) So, write! Put some thoughts out there. It doesn’t matter if they’re amazing, random or things you needed to get off your chest. You could end up catching the eye of a literary agent, self-publishing or feeling the enormous satisfaction of knowing you completed something that many just talk about doing one day. If this all seems like quite a time commitment, you can still help a kid catch the writing bug. Houston-based??? Writers in the Schools has engaged kids in reading and writing activities for 30 years, and participants have demonstrated increases in test scores, self-efficacy and creativity (things we value highly here at 20K). Show them some love by volunteering, donating or introducing a child to the wonders of the pen, or patronize one of their quarterly Night WrITerS happy hours, featuring youth performance poetry by Meta-Four Houston and a writing workshop with a WITS writer.

WITS

“But I’m not a writer! I’m not even good at it,” you protest. Well, that’s OK. We’ve all felt like that at one point or another. However, this month, we challenge you to take on that fear. Wrestle and curse at the fear of writing something silly or even downright terrible. You don’t have to show anyone your words, paragraphs and pages. They can stay your little secret, or maybe you find a friend to join you in this adventure. We can promise, your ability to communicate—verbally and in writing—will be improved by exploring the possibilities. If you’ve participated in NaNoWriMo or written on your own, we would love to hear about your experience. Feel free to share in the comments section, send us a tweet or give us a shout on Facebook. Let’s support one another in our love of the written word!

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