It’s almost that time of year again. That time when novelists take the world by a storm. The time when the cosmos bend to accommodate the wills and wishes of the hard-working. The time to write! The time to create! The time for NaNoWriMo!
For those of you who are still confused about what this awesome event is, let me explain. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The basic idea is that you write 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November.
You may pass this off as a crazy idea, meant only for the crazy. Or you may think you’re not interested in writing a novel. Or you might think you would have no idea how to go about writing a novel. But you would be wrong. Everyone has a story inside them, begging to be put to life. Only you can bring it to life! Here are the top reasons you should consider doing NaNoWriMo this November (decide quick – it starts in like 8 days!).
1) You get to say you wrote a novel - seriously, there is nothing better than being able to just off-handedly say “Oh yeah, I wrote this novel last November.” It’s an impressive thing to do, regardless of the quality of the novel.
2) There is absolutely no pressure to make your novel good – it’s all about the finish line here, folks. There’s no editing, no erasing, no nothing. No time to agonize over character development, or plot holes, or consistency. You just write your way through the month, grateful for every word you can eek out of your computer. You may think this makes for a great pile of crap. And it does. My first draft was all over the place. But you know what? I wrote it. And fixed it. And improved it. And now, it’s not half bad. Not perfect by any means, but not terribly awful as a whole. But that was the funnest part of last year’s NaNoWriMo for me – that I didn’t have to worry at all about it being good. It was so low-stress, cuz all I had to do was whip out some words, any words! I remember reading one tip on the website that suggested if you were having trouble hitting your word count to give one of your characters a habit of reciting from the dictionary. Voila! Tons of words! It seriously is so fun to just let out of you whatever is inside of you and not worry about what it is.
3) It’s like taking a mini vacation – you don’t have to do dishes all month long cuz suddenly you find you don’t have time for them. And if you recruit hubby to support you in your nano-ing, he’ll do the dishes for you! It’s great! And they let you get off with it because it makes them a good husband to support you in your month-long dedication to a goal. Since it has a deadline, it’s no big deal to let stuff go for just a month.
4) You get cool prizes if you win - and by “win” I mean “get to 50,000 words.” That’s right, that’s all you have to do to win! Everybody can be a winner at NaNoWriMo! At the end of the month, you copy and paste your novel into a word count thingy on the website, and if you pass 50,000 you win! And then you get cool prizes! Like a free copy of your manuscript in book form! Or half off Scrivener – the coolest writing program in the world! Or, um, or other cool stuff that I can’t remember! Prizes, people!
50,000) You get to do something fun and awesome and crazy – a month long adventure! – Seriously people, this is so much fun. Hard and scary, yes, but mostly fun. They put out pep talks every week to push you along, there’s a local NaNoWriMo community wherever you are that does fun things like write-in’s and parties and word count races. There’s this awesome feeling of community. It’s just a blast. You really should do it.
“So Caitlin,” you ask, “are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?” And the answer is – yes! I’m totally gonna do it! Whew. This is a big deal because I’ve been planning on doing it but I’ve been a little on the fence about it for the last couple weeks because I’m not as far into my draft that I’m working on now as I would like to be. The plan was to finish this draft by the end of this month and let it rest while I did NaNoWriMo. I don’t think I’ll finish it by then. But I’m gonna try! And we will NaNoWriMo it up in style! This year will be even more fun cuz I’m working this year and have actual responsibilities so I have to dash through those words like mad! It’s gonna be awesome!
Come on people! Do it with me! Write a novel in November! Who’s in?!
(PS- you didn’t really think I would list out 50,000 reasons, did you? I’m saving my 50,000 words for November)