Why You Should Try National Novel Writing Month

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo, as the cool kids say) is a fun time of the year. It’s a time when people come together to create their own versions of one of the greatest forms of art there is: the novel!

Have you tried it before? Are you thinking of trying it? Here are some reasons you’ll want to join National Novel Writing Month yourself.

NaNoWriMo Gives You a Hard Deadline

I explored this idea in an earlier blog post from this month, but it’s still relevant, no matter what. In my opinion, most writers need deadlines.

This might sound harsh. Still, I know a ton of talented people who could generate a ton of great work, if only they hadn’t been working on the same project for three years. I’m not trying to put anyone down for doing so; writing is your time, and you should work on whatever projects you’d like. But hey. Sometimes you’ve got to move on to the next project.

I know I need deadlines. I often review my stories numerous times, making cosmetic (and ultimately low-impact) edits. For example: shuffling commas around. This is probably not a great use of my time, and it’s why I like deadlines. At some point, I can say, “This is as good as it’s going to be.” And then move on.

NaNoWriMo Gives You a Sense of Community

Unless you dig the working in a coffee shop thing, writing might feel a little lonely. And even if you do work at Starbuck’s, baristas are unlikely to chat about your first chapter.

But during National Novel Writing Month, you’ll have an entire community to people to discuss your writing with. NaNoWriMo is one of the rare times when everyone writes crazily hard for an entire month. Yes, that’s write—ahem, sorry. That’s right.

If you’re feeling lonely, head over to the National Novel Writing Month homepage. You can register your novel there, update your progress, and chat with others who are doing the same. Writing novels is hard, so feel free to encourage your friends as they slog through theirs. They’ll do the same for you.

NaNoWriMo Helps You Improve

Being a writer is all about gradual improvement. The first novel you ever write is probably going to be hideous. That’s just how it is. The key is to improve, and continue improving.

NaNoWriMo helps you do that. It gives you an excuse to go ham on your long-form writing skills for a while. Plus, it gives you a short window to do it in. As stated above, it’s kind of like forced practice. And, it’s a better time than any to get those much-needed reps.

I’ve found that the more time I put into my writing, the better it gets. So if you try NaNoWriMo, that’s a whole month of excellent practice. Which will help you improve. Which will help you write something even better next year. Woo hoo!

Bonus: People Will Give You Mad Props

If you tell another human being that you’ve written a book, they’ll be super impressed, especially if they’re not a writer.

Give yourself a deadline. Join a community. Improve your writing. Earn street cred. National Novel Writing Month starts in a little over a week on Wednesday, November 1st. Try it out!

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