Tuesday, October 11, 2011

5 Reasons To Do NaNoWriMo Next Month

  For anyone who even remotely considers themselves a writer, and who doesn't know already, November is National Novel Writing Month. This means that for 30 days, crazy people all over the world will be fiendishly writing into the wee hours of the morning to finish 50 thousand words by midnight on the thirtieth.
    I have done this, twice now (and won, I might add), and it's a lot of fun. Not the way that going to the movies is fun or playing pool is fun, but it's fun in that it's a challenge. It breaks down to about 1,667 words every day. When you think about it, that's not that much. It's like 5 double spaced pages of whatever you want. It doesn't have to be Shakespeare, and it doesn't even have to have all the commas. (You won't find me as Constant Writer on the Nano website, though. I was doing Nano long before I was doing Insistent and Persistent ;)

    The purpose of all this writing is to crank out a draft of a novel that you've been thinking about without worrying so much about getting it perfect. No first draft is perfect (you may know this as pretty much anyone who's taken a writing class will have read "Shitty First Drafts" or parts of it), but for some reason, we all manage to convince ourselves that it has to be. And this fear of writing something that isn't totally mind-blowing and amazing right out of the gate is what prevents us from actually writing something.
    So, what keeps you motivated for thirty days to actually keep writing? Stats. If you have any competitive streak, you can make friends through the forums and battle each other with your word count. One of the important things to the process is that word count matters, not page count. So it doesn't matter how big you make your font or how wide you make your margins, it's the number of words that count.
    This isn't just a numbers game, though. There comes a satisfaction that is indescribable when you cross the 50k mark. Even if you have more to say, once you hit that point, the pressure is off and you have such a wonderful sense of accomplishment.
    If you like to write, or if you're just feeling a little crazy, check out the Nano website and sign up (they help you track your stats) and get ready for one wordy month!
Word Nerds Live Here.

**UPDATE** SOOOO I totally forgot that I had put "5 Reasons" at the top of this when I started it and realized driving home that there may or may not be 5 separate reasons. I will try to enumerate them in the comments, but it wasn't a completely thought out plan, so, apologies, dear readers ;)

Have you written a novel? A short story? Some piece of writing that you're proud of?
What's your favorite part about writing?
Share in the comments below.


Outnumbered said...

Thanks for sharing this!

Constant Writer said...

HERE ARE THE 5 Reasons, since I didn't pick them out like I originally intended.
1. You like writing.
2. You are crazy.
3. You want to copy me and try it.
4. You want to write without fear or thought for editing.
5. You want to compete with me and beat my word count.
They were in there, I just didn't number them. Enjoy this clarification, or discard it, if you already counted those five reasons. :D

+Constant Writer

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