In case you’ve been living under a rock somewhere and have no idea what I’m talking about, NaNoWriMo (short for National Novel Writing Month) is an online community of writers who have pledged to write a 50k word novel during the month of November. Sounds crazy? A bit. But it keeps the makers of caffeinated beverages happy for the month.
There are many reasons to get involved and be a part of this yearly craze-fest, but here are my top five reasons why I love NaNoWriMo.
1. The built in goal and deadline
Face it, we all try to avoid it for one reason or another, but goal setting WORKS. The issue comes in when we make vague goals without any real deadline. I know I am always much more likely to complete a task if it’s specific with a set end date. And that is exactly what NaNoWriMo does.
30 days. 50,000 words. No excuses.
2. The community
On NaNoWriMo’s website, they have a forum open to all the writers who sign up for a free account. Here, you can ask questions, get advice, and join in the plight of the over 300,000 other writers who are going through the same things you are. It’s a great community who loves to help in any way they can.
They make great cheerleaders too, which is helpful on those writer’s block-y sort of days.
3. Camp NaNoWriMo
While this program is not during the traditional November event, Camp NaNoWriMo can’t be missed! It’s especially good for people who aren’t ready to commit to the 50k word goal.
Camp NaNoWriMo happens in April and July. The biggest difference is the word count goal. You set your own goal anywhere from 20k words to infinity! Maybe not infinity, but you get my point.
Also, the team at NaNoWriMo set you up in “cabins” with other writers and you have your own private forum to access. Cabins are usually about 10-15 people, depending on how many people sign up. This can be a great option if you find the forums and sheer number of people involved in NaNoWriMo to be overwhelming.
4. The Office of Letters and Light
NaNoWriMo is run by the non-profit organization The Office of Letters and Light. This group promotes literacy, reading, and writing in so many ways but especially focus on schools.
They have also set up the Young Writers Program to help facilitate and inspire new young writers to pursue their passion.
Seriously, it’s a great organization you should check out. You can donate to the cause, if you sign up for NaNoWriMo you can get sponsored to write and have others donate, or you can sign up for Amazon Smile which allows a percentage of everything you purchase from Amazon (5% last I checked) to be donated. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.
It’s a great program, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Here are some more reasons why we should all help out.
5. The fun!
You can find other writers in your area and have write-ins. There are regional parties for NaNoWriMo participants. Plus, the energy from so many writers all getting together with the same goals can be invigorating.
Writing is typically a solitary venture, and as a diehard introvert I’m not going to complain about that point. But sometimes it gets lonely and you can begin to think that the struggles you have are only happening to you. This is simply not true, and NaNoWriMo is a great way to remind ourselves of that.
Plus, if you commit to this adventure, by the end of November, you can call yourself a novelist. How awesome is that! Even if you don’t win, no matter how many words you wrote, you will have more words on the page than you did at the start of the month. And that ain’t shabby.
I will be participating for the second time this year and I hope to see you there to! If you decide to join (yay!), then look me up! I’m listed as Jacres.
Bonus: here’s an article I found from BookBaby with some great tips on prepping and surviving NaNoWriMo.
What are your thoughts on NaNoWriMo? Will you be signing up this year?