Jenna White spread tarot cards at Coffee Culture on Tuesday, brainstorming ideas for a novel to be written within a month.
The 22-year-old baker at the cafe was among eight people who showed up to start their stories as part of a kickoff party for National Novel Writing Month, which started Tuesday. Novels have to be at least 50,000 words and must be finished by Nov. 30. Participants are recommended to write 1,667 words a day.
As of now, Gainesville has 161 participants signed up, said Jen Kinser, an adult programming librarian for the Tower Road Branch Library and the municipal liaison for National Novel Writing Month.
“From my knowledge, it gets bigger every year,” the 32-year-old said.
White has been aiming to write at least 50,000 words for the month since 2008, a goal met at least once, White said. Some years, all-nighters have been pulled. During White’s senior year of high school, staying up four consecutive nights led to a visit to the emergency room, White said.
Now, White’s writing is spaced out. White plans on writing about magical pirates this month.
“I’m just kind of winging it,” White said.
White and White’s best friend, Mires Wolfe, set up the writing meetup in the coffee shop to keep other participants accountable and to get inspiration from others.
“I’ve noticed it’s a lot easier to stay motivated when you have a community,” White said.