As the month of November approaches more quickly than ever, hundreds of thousands of people are also preparing to simultaneously write novels in 30 days. Although it’s only been around for 18 years, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has become one of the most popular ways for writers to connect and create books in a short amount of time.
All this creativity happening all over the world for the same goal at the same time makes me dizzy! If you are hesitant about writing an entire book in such a short amount of time and need a few reasons to convince you, have no fear and just keep reading below!
1. Write that book you’ve always wanted but that you never got past the first page.
I don’t know about you, but I have far more first paragraphs of stories tucked away in the backs of drawers that no longer open than I do of actual completed novels. I wrote the idea for my first novel in a single paragraph in a journal, and it sat there for 2 years before I even started turning it into a novel. Often, a book will never actually get written if you don’t give yourself a deadline. Writers can come up with dozens of excuses not to write, so NaNoWriMo ensures we actually have something to work with by the end of the month, even though it won’t be a polished piece.
2. You get to read cool online cartoons about fellow Wrimos (NaNoToons.Net).
Granted, you can read cartoons anytime, but every year in November, NaNoToons posts a daily web comic following various characters’ adventures in NaNoing. I like to post printouts of these on my bedroom door for inspiration. Here is one of my favorites.
3. Win prizes!
If you make your wordgoal by the end of the month, the NaNo site will give you small prizes, like coupons, from their sponsors! I’m not sure if they do this anymore, but when I first started doing NaNo, winners received a free copy of their book from a self-publishing service! So even though I wasn’t ready to publish 2 of the novels I wrote, I was able to claim single copies of them for free, to have something to show for all of the hard work that month. Also, bragging rights.
4. Be a part of a community
When I tried NaNo for the first time, I went to weekly “write-ins” and parties that my public library held for the monthly event. There I met other writers, got critiques, and attended presentations from published authors. Most cities hold special events during NaNo, so it is a fantastic way to meet people and keep yourself accountable.
5. You’re in good company.
I never heard about this before trying NaNo for myself, but a lot of famous, bestselling authors wrote books that were NaNoWriMo novels. Some of my favorite, speed-writing novelists are Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus), Marissa Meyer (Cinder series), Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth), and Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl). So many impressive, extremely successful writers do NaNo!
Still not convinced? Perhaps this musical about the ups and downs of NaNo will persuade you!
Be on the lookout for more information and tips about NaNo prep soon!