Interested in participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year? I've rounded up 15 great reasons to give it a go! Have a question? Concerned about something? Want to share a past personal experience? Or just wanna give some praise? Leave a comment! I'll be answering questions, addressing concerns, and sharing quotes from you in upcoming NaNo-based posts. :) Gearing up for November!!
1. Bragging Rights
Seriously... how cool will it be to be tell friends and family that you're writing a novel? And better yet, how cool will it be to be able to say you wrote a novel?! Writing 50,000 words in just 30 days is not something everyone will set out to do. Heck! Even sitting down to write a short story is something most people won't do. So it will set you apart
if when you do it!
I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for more excuses to consume a little more coffee. Coffee benefits your novel-writing in several ways. Energy boost. Improved focus. Even enhanced creativity.
3. Writing Buddies
Whether you meet up with other writers in or your area or end up corresponding with other Wrimos online, you're bound to make new writer friends. Writing buddies are there to answer questions, give inspiration, crack the whip, compete in word wars, help out with grammar, lend knowledge, and sometimes just waste time talking about something other than writing.
Write-ins are NaNo events held by regions. In my region, there's a write-in every night of the week in Ames or nearby Des Moines. What happens at write-ins? Writers come together (often at coffee houses, libraries, and college campuses) to drink coffee, do writing sprints*, get inspired, get motivated, and have fun socializing. If your region doesn't host write-ins, check to see if there are virtual ones you can join in on.
5. *Writing Sprints
Worried about reaching that 1,666-word goal each day? Writing sprints help. You can do them at write-ins competitively with other writers... or even by yourself. You basically set a time limit, set a word goal (pick it randomly, or set one yourself), and go! Write as many words as you can in the allotted time in an attempt to reach your goal.
6. NaNo Forums
I love the forums. They are the most useful forums I've ever accounted as a writer. Whatever you need help with, it's there. Story structure. Character development. Grammar. Plot monkeys. Writing prompts. Genres. Historical questions. Helpful websites. Inspiring music playlists. Games. You really need to explore the forums to really understand how amazing, helpful, and fun they are!
Why isn't National Novel Writing Month in the spring or summer? You wouldn't want to waste glorious weather staying inside and writing, would you? For many of us, November is a dreary month when the cold, rain, and snow starts to set in. You're more likely to want to curl up on the couch with your laptop, a cup of coffee, and an idea for a story. Plus, it works out well for students who need Thanksgiving Break to squeeze those extra words in.
8. You Despise Writing Papers
Sick and tired of the essays, reports, and themes you have to write for college courses? This is your chance to throw quality to the wind. Yep, forget the spelling and forgo the grammar. NaNoWriMo focuses on quantity over quality. The goal is just to write. Be free and be creative!
9. Your Inner Editor is a Controlling Manaic
So maybe you already love to write, but you just can't seem to move forward because you're always going back and changing things, editing things, re-thinking things. Sound familiar? It's your inner editor hard at work. Inner editors are great for school papers (see above), but there's no place for them in NaNoWriMo. Shush your inner editor. And just write. Use NaNo to churn out a rough first draft of that story you've always wanted to write. No matter how crappy. You can always go back and edit later!
10. You're Not Sure What to Write About
No plot? No problem! Seriously. That's the mantra of NaNoWriMo. If you're a person that likes to sit down, plot out your story, and flesh out characters... great! You can do that during the days or weeks leading up to NaNo. If not, there are many Wrimos who fly by the seat of their pants! Worried your story will be ridiculous, unorganized, totally change half way through, or just not make sense? Throw those worries to the wind. Just write. The goal isn't to write a best-seller by the end of the month. The goal is to have a 50,000-word novel---however ridiculous or nonsensical.
11. You Love a Challenge
Love pressure? Love the thrill of chasing a goal? 50k words in 30 days is a pretty hefty challenge, but totally doable. If you can devote time each day to writing just 1,666 words, you'll be on track to your main goal. (There are helpful tracking programs available to help, too!)
It's simple. There's a story you have in the back of your head that you always thought would make a great book. Now's your chance. Write the book you've always wanted to read.
13. You've Never Done Anything Like This
Not a writer? It's okay! You don't have to be an author or seasoned writer to sign up for, enjoy, participate in, and eventually win NaNoWriMo. It's for everyone regardless of age, skill level, writing style, genre, career, etc. Everyone! Try something new. You might like it.
14. It's Fun
Being a part of the excitement, silliness, and rush to 50k is all part of the fun of NaNoWriMo. Writers young and old, inexperienced and published from all over the world come together and write feverishly toward that wordcount finish line. It's your chance to be part of something international, unique, and totally inspiration. Plus, you'll be hooked and look forward to November every year from here on out... whether you win or not!
15. Winning Feels Great
What do you have to do to "win," you ask? Winning is simply reaching the 50,000-word goal. NaNoWriMo works on a trust system. If you don't reach the goal, but say you did... you're only cheating yourself. But if you reach the 50k, you're a winner! What do you win? Well, a few winner goodies like discounts on writing software and deals to get a little book version of your novel printed and mailed to you... but most of all: the accomplished feeling of having written a novel in just 30 days. And trust me, it's an amazing feeling!