At time of writing this, it is November 5th, which means we are five days into National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. This is the month when many writers and would-be writers try to tackle a novel in a single month, aiming for 50,000 words written between November 1st and November 30th. It’s a huge undertaking, requiring at least 1,667 words written per day. Although it can, at times, be stressful, and feel daunting, it’s an event I absolutely love participating in, and here’s my reasons why.
It’s Great Practice
I’ve always found NaNoWriMo to be great practice for writing. There’s a lot of freedom to it, and a lot you can do to play around and hit that 50K. As long as you come out with something you can edit, you can do anything you like. And sometimes when I am stuck, I do throw something random in there, just to see what happens.
There’s A Sense of Community
So many people take part in NaNoWriMo every year, and just a quick search of the hashtag on Twitter will help you find others who are tackling the challenge. You can also sign up on the website, and find people that way. No matter your preferred form of communication, you can connect with people, take part in sprints, and cheer each other on.
All Writing is Skill Building
If you’re a writer, this is important to remember. No matter what you write, no matter how it turns out, it builds up your skills. The point of NaNoWriMo is to have something you can edit at the end, but honestly, even if you only meet part of the target, you’ll still have something you can work on. And if you end up throwing the whole project out, you might have snippets – scenes or sentences or just a particular phrase – you really like. Every time you write, you’re honing a skill. And that’s really important.
There’s a Sense of Accomplishment
Whether you manage to write every day or just most days, if you get down 50K or 10K, or even 100 words, NaNoWriMo is a great chance to stretch your muscles and feel accomplished at the end. And I mean this – not hitting the 50K doesn’t mean you ‘lose’. NaNoWriMo is a great chance to play, and yes it feels amazing to hit the goal, but you can also amend the goal to suit yourself. Go for that. Go for what you can personally achieve, and when you hit it, feel proud. It’s about writing every day, but there’s times we can’t all do that, so just take a step back and aim to write just a little bit more than you usually do, and again, when you manage that, it’s a great feeling.
So there you have it. My reasons as to why I love NaNoWriMo. Now if you excuse me, I didn’t write anything yesterday (whoops!) and have some catching up to do!
Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? What’s your favourite thing about it?