In a nutshell, NaNoWriMo—or National Novel Writing Month—is an event held in November where one attempts to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. It may seem daunting (and it is), but it’s also a great opportunity for us writers.
Why NOT to Participate in NaNoWriMo
NaNoWriMo is no easy feat. It’s hard, it’s stressful, and life gets in the way.
Our family tries as hard as possible to keep our schedule for November clear so we have time to write, but stuff comes up. It’s the beginning of October and our calendar’s slowly getting full. My little brother and dad both have black belt tests, our local bookstore has an event that lasts all day, we have a birthday party to go to, there’s Thanksgiving to take care of, and so on.
Pretty soon, we’re squeezing in fifteen minutes of scribbling barely legible sentences between lunch and the next thing.
4 Reasons NaNoWriMo Is Great for Writers
But if you prepare for it and work hard at making it a priority, NaNoWriMo can be extremely rewarding. Here are four reasons why.
1. You practice discipline
If you’re going to complete a fifty-thousand word novel in a month, you don’t have time for writer’s block and boredom. You have to sit down, take a deep breath, and write something, even if it’s total crap.
The point of NaNoWriMo isn’t to be the next Shakespeare or Harper Lee. The point is to write. You have to get those words on the page. Then come December 1, it’s up to you to polish what you’ve written.
2. You practice speed
50,000 divided by thirty comes to about 1,666, which is how many words you need to write daily to complete your goal. Difficult? Absolutely. But impossible? No. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish in an hour when you really focus and let those fingers fly.
And thirty days of practice isn’t going to vanish when the clock chimes twelve on December first. I find that each year I participate in NaNoWriMo, I get a little bit faster, and you will, too.
3. You make new friends
Some of my best blogging friends have come from NaNoWriMo, and we keep in touch to this day. It’s hard to go into something like this alone, especially if it’s your first year.
When you sign up, if you sign up, poke around the forums for people who are attempting this for the first time. Strike up a conversation, ask the experts for advice. They’re more than happy to help a newbie out.
4. You end up with a story
Whether you reach your goal or not, you’ll have at least tried, and you’ll end up with something new to work on, or at the very least an experience you’ll always have. There’s no downside to signing up, because even “failing” has its perks.
This is my eighth year participating, and every time I get a little better, make new friends, have a new story. Are they the greatest stories? Maybe not. But do they have the potential to be? Of course. Every story can shine with some hard work and much-needed editing.
Get Ready for NaNoWriMo
Joe here. One of the best ways to succeed at NaNoWriMo is to get prepared before November starts. We want to help you make the most of that month of crazy writing! That’s why we’re excited to host a NaNoWriMo giveaway to jump-start your preparations.
We can’t give you a fully-formed plot and well-developed characters—that’s on you. But we CAN give you some NaNoWriMo survival essentials to get you through the month.
We’ve put together a fantastic NaNoWriMo Survival Kit to keep you alert and writing for thirty days. Enter the giveaway now! Or, get all the details below.
How to Enter the Giveaway
Want to enter the giveaway? Here’s how to maximize your chances of winning:
- Click here to go to the giveaway page.
- At the bottom of the page, answer the (easy!) question, which is really just there to make sure you’re a human. (You are a human, right?)
- Then, enter your email address to enter.
- Check your email and click the link in the confirmation email to confirm your entry.
- After you enter, share the contest page with your friends. For each friend who enters, you get 3 more chances to win.
You have eight days to get as many entries as you can. The giveaway will officially close on Tuesday, October 11, at 11:59 PDT.
Then, we’ll choose the winners on Wednesday, October 12, and notify them by email. If you’re ready to enter, click here.
Want to know what you could win?
Over $90 in Prizes
To celebrate our fifth anniversary, we’re giving away prizes to three lucky winners.
Three winners will receive our NaNoWriMo Survival Kit:
- Coffee, tea, and chocolate to keep you awake, alert, and writing for thirty days,
- Story cubes to give you fresh ideas with a roll of the dice when your inspiration starts to fade,
- An egg timer to keep you focused and on track for established periods of writing time,
- A stress ball to help you blow off steam when deadlines are rushing towards you,
- Pens to record your brilliant story ideas, and
- An exclusive The Write Practice journal to hold your notes and brainstorming.
With all these essential supplies, you’ll be sure to start off NaNoWriMo on the right foot.
Are you up to the challenge of NaNoWriMo? Let us know in the comments so we can support and encourage you all the way to November 30!
Write for fifteen minutes about someone participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time. What are his hopes for the month? What challenges will he have to face? What are his fears?
Once your time is up, post your practice in the comments. Be sure to leave a comment for your fellow writers, as well. Have fun!