NaNoWriMo: What it is and why you should do it
NaNoWriMo is here once again. It’s that time of years where some crazy writers commit to the ultimate writing challenge.
National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) is where people endeavour to write 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November.
If you’re talking technicalities, a novel is a story of at least 50,000 words, and that’s the goal for writers who sign up for NaNoWriMo. You update your word count on the website and track your progress, and hopefully at the end of the month, you’ll have the first draft of a book. (Or at least most of it.)
The 50,000 word target is to encourage you to write, but it’s not there to make you feel like a failure. I mean, if you sign up and only write 12,000 words, that’s still 12,000 words you might not have otherwise written! 50,000 words might sound impossible, but you’ll be surprised with what you can achieve.
Anybody can sign up to NaNoWriMo.
Seriously, any of you can go to the website and register to become a participant. It’s very easy. Even if you haven’t had a go at writing a full novel before. It doesn’t matter if you’re experienced or a complete novice.
You can track your progress really easily on the NaNoWriMo website.
It’s a very user-friendly site. You can upload a bit of personal info to your profile, talk to other writers on there; you can upload a blurb and sample of your book once you get started, and then as you write, you update your word count (the total word count, that is) and the site generates an awesome graph to show your progress. It also tells you how many words per day you’re averaging, and how many words you need to write per day after that to get to 50,000.
So… why should you sign up?
NaNoWriMo is there to try and encourage you to get writing, and to stop procrastinating.
You might also like this Writing Wednesday post on how to stay motivated when writing your story.
I can’t be the only one who starts a new novel sometimes and abandons it before hitting even 5,000 words. So when you’ve got this goal of 50,000 words, and you’ve got a website that’s there tracking your progress, and a massive writing community (especially active on Twitter!) supporting you, you feel way more motivated to succeed. You feel like you’ve gone and given yourself this huge goal and damn it, you’re going to do your best to achieve it.
Plus, there are thousands of other writers participating, and there’s a great feeling of community around the whole thing.
You might also like this post on time management and writing goals.
And, fair warning, NaNoWriMo can be a crazy stressful month.
I last completed NaNoWriMo back in 2011 (that’s when I started writing my second published novel, Rolling Dice, so ya know, dreams do come true and all that jazz). It was a hectic month.
BUT I DID IT. And it was so much fun.
And you can, too. At the very least, you can try. Like I said earlier – even if you don’t get to the 50,000 word target, you’ll have had a crack at it and probably written more than you would have without NaNoWriMo.
Sadly, I won’t be participating this year. (I’m in a graduate job now where I work full time and study pretty much all the time at home, so I barely have any time for myself right now. I have exams at the end of the month and those need to take priority over any new projects.)
from Tumblr http://authorbethreekles.tumblr.com/post/152943130215