Why do NaNoWriMo?
It’s NaNoWriMo time again! Where writers from all over the world flex their typing fingers and prepare for frenzied word sprints and quite possibly a few late nights.
If you’re unfamiliar, NaNoWriMo (Nano for short) stands for ‘National Novel Writing Month’ where participants from all over the world commit to writing everyday throughout the month of November. The goal is to have a 50k word novel by the end.
It will be my fourth time participating in Nano so as you may have guessed, I’m a fan! Here are some reasons why I think NaNoWriMo is a fantastic thing to consider doing.
1. NaNoWriMo commits you to writing
This first point might sound rather obvious, but if you’ve always considered putting pen to paper, a timed writing competition like Nano might be just the motivation you need. The idea that you can have a 50k word novel written by the end of November is an extremely appealing one. Plus, you have the NaNoWriMo website with word trackers and all sorts of resources to help you get started.
Of course, it’s a lot of work you’re signing up to do. Getting to that 50k works out at a par of 1667 words a day. This can be a daunting prospect, especially if you miss a couple of days and the words pile up very quickly if you want to get back on track to hit that 50k.
However, NaNoWriMo needn’t be a high pressured event – there are plenty of ‘Nano Rebels’, who commit to their own writing goals without worrying about getting the 50k. There’s a common adage in Nano that you’re a winner just for having more words than you had at the start of November – be that 50k or 500.
2. It’s a great chance to work on something different
One of the aspects of NanoWriMo is to commit to a new novel. Of course you can choose to be a Nano rebel and work on an existing project, but starting something band new is a great opportunity. It could be the next novel in your series, or it could be something utterly different.
Challenging yourself to a new style or a new genre of writing really stretches a writer’s creative muscles. They might end up with a story they never imagined they’d write, or fall in love with working in a different genre. Even if you decide a particular style or genre isn’t for you, (I had this for my 2nd nano project in 2019) you can learn more about t what makes you tick as a writer. I love trying out new genres and styles during Nano for these reasons.
Of course, writing something different can also be a way to refresh a writer. Maybe you’re knee deep in the middle of editing your series, or stuck in how to resolve your murder mystery. When that happens it’s easy to feel bogged down and perhaps not even enjoy writing as much. Focusing on a new, completely different project can help an author feel excited about their writing again and it might mean when you come back to your previous story, you have fresh eyes.
3. You aren’t doing NaNoWriMo alone
Doing Nano means having the opportunity to connect with a fantastic community of writers, both all over the world and closer to home. There’s the NaNoWriMo forum, as well as the ability to connect with writing groups and Nano buddies online.
As well as this, there are also home regions where you can connect with other writers doing NaNoWriMo in your local area. In the past these have been in-person events, but these have been virtual in the last year or two because of the pandemic. I met my region virtually last year and it’s great to connect with them again this year. I look forward to the day I can meet them in person! Regional virtual events include socials and joint writing sessions.
4. You never know what will happen with your Nano project
This is another fantastic part of NaNoWriMo – you never know what the future has in store for your project! It might be your novels ‘stay on the shelf’ as it were. If so, that’s still awesome! You wrote that project and it will be waiting for you when you next decide to do something with it. There are other NaNo events, such as Camp NaNoWriMo happening in April and July (a more flexible version of the November event, where writers can set their own goals on the site, including editing). There’s also ‘Now What’ in January and February, where NaNoWriMo has some resources for next steps for your project.
Four years ago now, in November 2018, I decided to do Nano for the first time. I liked the idea of a fantasy/murder mystery mash up. This was when I wrote Lottie’s Locket, which was published last year, in November 2020. So you never know what might happen. I had no idea Lottie’s Locket would even be finished, let alone published, when I first sat down to write!
So there’s some reasons why I love Nano. If you’ve always considered the idea of it, why not give it a ago?
Thanks so much for reading this post! Head here to check out my other blog posts, including others in the writing craft series. You can also check out my published books and find out more about me as an author.
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Till next time,