|Photo credit: Junnn on Flickr|
If you’ve already decided you’re going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, then congratulations (and good luck)! I hope you’ve started preparing, or at least started thinking about preparing, because NaNoWriMo is no small commitment.
But maybe you haven’t decided whether or not you want to participate, and that’s ok, too. This post is for you.
Despite knowing about the event, I didn’t participate for years because November was typically a busy time for me. Being the competitive person that I am, I was scared of starting something that would be too stressful to finish.
But then I participated last year and loved it.
Here’s what’s great about NaNoWriMo:
- It forces you to write consistently. As I’m sure you’ve heard if you’ve done any amount of research on NaNoWriMo, in order to meet the 50,000 word goal at the end of the month, you need to write 1,667 words a day. If you don’t write every day, then you’ll need to write a little more on the days that you do. But the point is, you need to write, and write often if you want to declare yourself a NaNoWriMo winner. And that’s not a bad habit to get into.
- It reminds you it’s ok to write badly. I happen to believe that 95% of first drafts suck. But the point of a first draft isn’t to write something beautiful, it’s just to get the story down so that you can polish it into something fantastic later.
When fast-drafting for NaNoWriMo, you don’t usually have the time to edit as you go. You just need to slap those words down at the speed of light and write.
- The writing community is awesome. The writing and publishing community is full of some of the nicest, most understanding and encouraging people out there. During NaNoWriMo, all participates are in it together, which can be great for motivation.
- Pretty graphs. Call me crazy, but watching that word progress graph grow over time is pretty darn satisfying.
- A nice chunk of shiny new words at the end. Regardless of whether or not you reach 50,000 words, you’ll have new pages that didn’t exist at the beginning of the month. And that’s something that should be celebrated.
NaNoWriMo isn’t easy, and there will be days when you’re exhausted and you’ll wish you didn’t sign up. But at the end of the month, when you have a chunk of a new book sitting on your hard drive, you’ll be glad you gave it your best.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Why or why not?