For those of you who don’t know, National Novel Writing Month is this glorious writing challenge during the month of November where millions of writers strive to write 50k words toward their next novel project. It’s exhausting and exhilarating and one of my favorite months of the year… if only because it gives me an excuse to be a crazy, writing Gollum.
Not everyone is suited for NaNoWriMo, and that’s okay. Everyone’s creative process is different. But let me give you my top five reasons for trying the challenge this year…
1. It’s a fantastic starting point.
Here’s the thing, 50k is not a novel, at least not for YA and adult lit (I haven’t done enough research to be able to say what word counts apply to middle grade and chapter books). So even if you complete the challenge, you won’t have a completed manuscript. This challenge is meant to get you writing. Use it as such.
2. It’s an excuse to really, truly vomit out a draft.
Sometimes when I’m writing (and I know this to be true for other writers as well), I get so caught up in the quality of the words that I hardly get down a sentence. Because you’re so focused on meeting a word goal, you focus more on just spewing the plot out onto the page. But don’t forget to revise in the following months. I’d never recommend handing a NaNo draft to anyone for review.
3. The community is fantastic.
Okay, I know I’m a total fangirl for the writing community, but it’s such a wonderful, supportive thing! Whether you’re connecting with write-ins in person or online, there’s something about the NaNo Hive-mind that makes your fingers move twice as fast. Between word sprints, twitter challenges and the forums, you have a built-in support system of writers who commiserate with you on this epic word campaign.
4. Consistent encouragement to keep you motivated throughout the month.
Piggy-backing on No. 3, NaNoWriMo.org provides motivation through smaller word count challenges, medals for meeting different participation goals, AND motivational letters from published authors.
5. ALL THE GOODIES!
Of course there are other reasons to participate in NaNoWriMo more important than the pot of gold at the end of the grueling rainbow, BUT the winner’s circle doesn’t hurt. 😉 They always offer awesome discounts on writerly software, including but not limited to Scrivener (I would be so lost without this program…). I’m excited to see what sponsors they’ve accumulated this year.
Let me know in the comments below if you’re planning to participate this year! I’d love to know what ya’ll are working on. 🙂
If you are participating, find me on NaNoWriMo.org and add me as a writing buddy! My username is Juliet.Pierce. My 2014 Novel is titled Guarded. 2015 is Enveloped.