It’s so close, I can feel it! November 1st is less than a week away. And in my world, November is for writing. (And so is every month, but this one is special.) It’s NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month.
Sign up/get more info here: https://nanowrimo.org
This is a thing I’ve been a huge fan of for years. This will be my fifth year doing NaNo. Every year I’ve not only won and managed to write 50,000 words in 30 days (or in 15 days one year), but it’s rejuvenated my writing life, led me to meet some awesome people, and helped me find new tools and strategies.
I’ve written about NaNo many times, but it’s no less important to me now than it was when I first began. Here are some reasons to go for it if you’re not too sure about this whole thing.
- You’ve Always Wanted to Write a Book
- You’ve Already Written a Book (or Stories or Poems) and You Want to Write More
- You Want to Get Something Done
- You Want to Form a Consistent Writing Schedule
- You Want to Meet Writers
- You Want to Prove to Yourself (or Someone Else) that You Can Do It!
I hear people say this all the time, so I know there’s a ton of you out there. You’ve thought about it, you’ve wanted to do it, but you didn’t have the motivation to actually sit down and get started. Now is your chance! Make a commitment and get writing. Make your dream into a goal and accomplish it!
Maybe you’re a previous NaNo winner (or participator). Maybe you do write, but you’ve never tried the 50k in 30 days thing. Maybe you’ve never heard of it before (How is that possible?). Whatever the case, you’ve written before, and you want to write more. Why not join up with a few hundred thousand friends and do it together!
NaNo Rebels do exist. Technically, you’re supposed to write 50k words of a new novel in November. But, really, this is for you. Who cares what the rules are! Write something you’ve been working on, but haven’t been able to finish. Write something that’s NOT fiction. Edit that book you’ve written, but have never done anything else with (Am I talking to myself here?!). Just write something. Anything.
There’s nothing like a looming deadline with hundreds of thousands of people watching your progress to see if you’ll make it. Unless you hate that aspect (in which case you don’t have to update your word count publically on the NaNo site), then the competition and the tracking will help you make this a consistent thing. The site is great about telling you how many words you need to write per day to hit your goal, based on your count at that moment. Start making plans now. Can you wake up a half hour earlier and squeeze in some writing time? Can you skip just one little episode of “Stranger Things” (I know, that’s tough)? Everyone has a different writing pace, so try to figure out how long it takes you to write 1,667 words. That’s how much time you need to find in a day to work on your project. Remember, it’s only one month. If your base doesn’t get updated as regularly on Clash of Clans (yup, talking to myself again), then you’ll get back to it in December. Just make sure you have enough clean underwear and dishes to get you through the month, and you’re set!
One of the best parts of NaNoWriMo, one of the things that makes it unique to the rest of the year, is write ins. No matter where you are, there’s a write in available to you. Most of the time, there will be one in person you can attend, usually at a restaurant or library, but there are also online write ins. These are great opportunities to meet fellow writers and NaNoers, talk about books and writing, and get some help or inspiration as needed. I had a writing group start out of NaNo and met one of my best friends as a result. Those people will be there for you when December hits and the excitement of November has faded.
Competition is a great motivator. Maybe you’ve never written anything as long as 50k words. Maybe you don’t think you can. Or maybe someone else is telling you you can’t. Find a friend and make a bet to see who pulls it off or gets there first. Challenge yourself to do it. You’ve got nothing to lose, but 50,000 words to gain!
Almost all of these reasons have applied to me at one point. This year, I want to get back on track writing my own work and not just freelance work. I’ve been neglecting my own stories far too long and that stops on November 1st. I want to set a writing time that’s just for me. I’m aiming for an hour a day, which should let me hit 1,667 words, give or take a few depending on the scene. I’ll try to squeeze in an extra few minutes here and there as needed.
I’ve already attended a NaNo Kick Off event, and met some cool people. I have my story in my head, an outline written, and the excitement needed to carry me through. Now, I just have to sit back and wait for November 1. I’ll be blogging along the way to help inspire you.
Are you joining me or sitting it out this year?