Sunday, 16 October 2011

10 + 2 Reasons to Participate in NaNoWriMo This Year

For the last two years I have participated in National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo.  This is a challenge to write a 50,000 in the month of November.  That's right, 50,000 words in 30 days, or 1667 words a day.  I am gearing up to take part again this year; in fact, I'm getting pretty nervous because I don't have an idea yet...  Still, I am going to do it anyway.  Here are 10 reasons why:
  1. It is fun.  Seriously.  There is something about the craziness of the whole thing that makes it fun to participate in.  There is a wonderful energy to Nanowrimo.
  2. You get great pep talks sent right to your inbox.  These are wonderful, inspiring, encouraging pieces of advice about writing from top authors. 
  3. You are not alone.  Sign up and check out the forums.  There is likely someone in your region or your area of interest to connect with.  I don't know how many people participate, but there are literally thousands world wide.
  4. It's free.  They appreciate donations, but there is no cost.
  5. They have a young writer's program for kids to set their own challenging goals, complete with their own forums and pep talks.  My kids have done this and have had a great time.  They now know they are authors.  You can't beat the confidence of a 6 year old who has already written her own novel.
  6. Even if you don't finish the 50,000 words, you will have written more than you would have otherwise, which is also more than most people ever do.  In other words, you still win because you get something out of the program.
  7. You get to turn off the editing part of your brain for a month.  This is fantastic.  November is time to go for quantity over quality, just keep writing, even if your ideas are crazy or bad.  Set your right brain free and see where it goes.  You have 11 other months to edit.
  8. Winning is based on karma.  All you do is copy and paste your text into a word counter, which then verifies the 50,000 words then deletes it.  You win.  No one ever needs to read your novel if you don't want.
  9. You get to step out of your comfort zone.  It took a lot for me to tell people that I was writing a novel.  Most people smile and nod.  I've learned that's okay.  This year I will write my third novel.
  10. When you win, you can get a copy of your novel printed for free from Create Space.  There is nothing like seeing your name on a book...
  11.  I've added another point just because.  Being the creative soul that I am, I tend to work well with deadlines and crazy deadlines often yield crazy results.  Nanowrimo sure provides a crazy deadline.
  12. And yet another point because I've thought of something else.  Personally, I find it a great relief to know that I am not writing my best work, my life's masterpiece, when I do Nano.  This takes a lot of pressure off and allows me to let go and write terribly, but write it anyway.  It is surprising how many interesting plots and characters come to me because I'm not worried about it being good.
So, there are my 10 + 2 reasons for taking part in Nanowrimo.  Feel free to leave a comment with your reasons.  I would love to connect with others out there who are taking part this year, so leave me a comment or add me as a buddy on the Nano site (my username is Namaste - I'll be your buddy back.  Let's support eachother).  If you are interested, I have posted the first few (edited) chapters of my first Nano novel on my blog (yes, it has taken me 2 years of editing and letting the book sit before I felt ready to show it to anyone).  It is a middle grade fantasy called The Prophesy of Ilverzah and you can find it under the "My Writing" tab.

Good luck to all you other Wrimo's out there and happy writing in November!!!  

Here is a YouTube video I love that captures the spirit of Nanowrimo (I hope he doesn't mind that I've posted it here):

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