Saturday, October 3, 2015

NaNoWriMo: Why We Write


The first of November will bring an odd phenomenon. Thousands of people across the nation (and beyond?) will join together in a Herculean effort. They will attempt what may appear impossible...

Writing 50,000 words in 1 month. 

Take a moment for your brain to wrap around that number. 50,000 words. And yes, I can tell you what that is in pages... 125.6 pages single-spaced, 206.4 pages double-spaced, and roughly 142-166 pages in a published novel (though this varies a lot). Yep, that's quite the feat for 30 days.

Let me guess...your next question is WHY?

It's simple. If you are a writer you are likely to shrug at this and say, "Why wouldn't I want to do that?" If you're not a writer but think you might want to be, you may say, "I guess I could try..." and if you aren't a writer you're probably thinking, "That sounds like torture."

All of those are perfectly reasonable responses, but let me explain from my personal perspective. As someone who has participated in NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month for the newbie) for 7 years now and "won" 6 of those 7 years, I've been NaNo-ing for quite some time and have experienced the range of emotions that flow through those 4 weeks.

Excitement. Exuberance. Thrill. Determination. Apprehension. Tiredness. Commitment. Fear. Discernment. Terror. Exhaustion. Mania. Doubt. Success!

It goes something like that and yet every year I look forward to November like a child does to Christmas morning. It's my time. Not only is it during my favorite season of Fall, but it's centered around something I love: writing. Because of that love, I've decided to highlight 5 benefits to participating in NaNoWriMo on the blog today. 

The 5 Why's of NaNoWriMo

1. Because you have a novel to write.
If you're a writer, you have to write. It's not an option. If that's the case, then there's an idea in there waiting to be born. Why not use NaNoWriMo as an excuse to get it out?

2. Because you're already busy. 
I've heard it all before. But I'm busy. But there's this...that...or the other--going on. Sorry, but you'll always be busy so that's no excuse NOT to write a novel in a month. (See what I did there?)

3. Because everyone needs a little healthy competition.
I'm not typically competitive, but I have found that racing against a month-long clock with an impending word-quota per day has been excellent motivation to get my novel out--and I mean now

4. Because...November.
What better time to write a novel in a month? I mean, it's perfectly acceptable to lounge in sweats (or PJs) all day...to drink massive amounts of coffee/tea/apple cider...be wrapped in blankets...and to eat all things pumpkin. Talk about perfect conditions for novel-creation.

5. Because...Why not? 
At the end of the day, it doesn't harm anyone (except maybe the ultra-competitive) to start a novel and not finish the 50k in a month. I'm by no means encouraging slacking off, but there's no harm in trying it. Who knows? You may just find that success.

That's why we do it. We may be crazy, but we're writers. It comes with the territory. We spend hours a day arguing with non-existent people who talk back to us, but hey--that's how we work. We create and we like challenges. NaNo is the perfect challenge.

I'll be posting some tips and tricks for NaNo during this month, but they'll be helpful for all writers regardless or not if you are joining the insanity that is NaNoWriMo. I also promise to making them entertaining so you non-writers can still enjoy! Hey, maybe I'll convince YOU to write a novel? ;-)

Looking for like-minded writers to join in this fight with? Request to join my NaNoWriMo Support Group on Facebook. It's a lot of fun!

If you're interested in more NaNoWriMo tips check out my posts from last year:

7 Suggestions | NaNoWriMo Prep (Part 1)
The 7 Snacks of NaNo | NaNoWriMo Prep (Part 2)
What to do when you're not feeling the NaNo | NaNoWriMo (Part 3)
NaNoing to Success | NaNoWriMo (Part 4)