20 Reasons to Do NaNoWriMo



NaNoWriMo kicks off on Saturday. I’m all plotted, I have key scenes written up on flashcards, my special stationery is gathered…I’m ready.If you’re still debating whether to join me on this crazy journey, here are 20 reasons you should.

  1. No matter how much you write, you’ve made a start. You know that saying to motivate runners? No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch. NaNo is much the same for writing. If you don’t write the 50000 words, never mind. If you only write 500 words, that’s still 500 words you didn’t have before.
  2. Get the story out. It’s said that everyone has a book in them. Get yours out. Books don’t belong in people, they belong on the page.
  3. Turning off the inner editor. Writers are often plagued by the little voice in their head that tells them their work is naff. For NaNo, shut the inner editor in a cage, and just write. First drafts are meant to need work.Nobody churns out a perfect novel in the first try and NaNo helps you realise that.
  4. The excuse for crazy behaviour. Writers are meant to be quirky characters. Adopt a strange hat for writing time (NaNo founder, Chris Baty, often wears a Viking helmet to write, so you’ll be in excellent company), talk to your characters out loud, act out your scenes…whatever crazy behaviour you fancy indulging in, do it. It’s not weird, you’re writing. 
  5. Writing everyday Writing everyday is an excellent habit to get into. While you don’t have to keep up the pace of NaNo at the end of November, the habit of getting even a few words down every day will help your writing a lot.
  6. Progress. It can be daunting starting a new writing project. NaNo helps get that first scary chunk out of the way.
  7. Making writing a priority. NaNo is an excellent excuse to put writing first. If you’re the sort to put it off in favour of organising the cupboards, or, God forbid, doing the ironing, let NaNo be a reason to let those jobs slide for a little while.
  8. Projects makes us happier. It’s so satisfying to be working on something. And that deadline really keeps you going.
  9. Writing Community. Writing can be very solitary, but NaNo makes it a team sport. Go to local write-ins, chatter nonsense in the forums, either way, you’re meeting like-minded people and finding writers to be friends with.
  10. The achievement. 50,000 words in a month is impressive. The feeling of winning is awesome, trust me. You’ll be proud of that for years to come.
  11. Creativity. Getting the creative juices flowing feels pretty great, and feeds back into the rest of your day. When you’re on a roll with a creative project, you might be surprised what else it spills into.
  12. Bragging. Come on, be honest. Being able to casually mention your novel in conversation would be pretty cool, right?
  13. Caffeine and sugar. Lots of NaNoers swear that their novels are entirely fueled by insane caffeine levels and a LOT of sweets. If you’re that away inclined, it’s a great excuse.
  14. You’ve always said you’d like to write a novel. Go on then. What were you waiting for, a written invitation? Consider this it.
  15. The deadline. Deadlines are a great incentive to get your head down and get on.
  16. Speed. The 50,000 words over 30 days works out at 1,667 words each day. A challenge for some, but totally doable. You’d be amazed how much you can bash out in an hour when the words start flowing. And the more you do it, the faster you get.
  17. No writing project will ever seem daunting again. Essay for school? Dissertation? Work project? Oh, only 10,00 words? That’s nothing. You wrote a novel in a month. You’re a writing superhero now.
  18. Finding strength. There will be times when it’s hard. There’ll be some days where you stare at that little blinking cursor and wonder what mad person talked you into this. But you will get through that, and you’ll find some inner strength to push you through the days when it sucks.
  19. Changing up your writing. Are you stuck in a bit of a rut with your writing? Writer’s block? No room for that in NaNo! The pace forces you into changing things up, trying new things and writing through the toughest of blocks.
  20. Find what works for your writing. Writing this much will probably mean you write at times of day or in places you wouldn’t have before. You might find something new that really works for you. Maybe you actually write best early in the morning, or in coffee shops, but you’ve just never tried it. NaNo is a great way to find out.

So…who’s in?