Obviously, we're towards the end of NaNoWriMo right now, so this seemed like a fitting post. If you don't know what NaNoWriMo is, obviously you have had your head under a rock. Check it out here.
Now, this post comes rather late for you to join this year, but maybe it'll convince you to try next year!
1) If you've never written a novel, this is a good way to get one done. It gives you a specific, focused time in which to write with specific goals and lots of motivation and such. I've not been in this category during NaNo, but I think a lot of people are, which is cool.
2) If you're a longer-time novelist, it gives you time to actually sit down and write. Again, it's a specific, focused time with goals, and that's why I love it so much. At this point, I spend so much time on editing and stuff I don't get to write often. NaNoWriMo is my chance to actually sit down and write a book the way I need to.
3) It teaches you to write fast and focused. I've seen lots of articles out there denouncing NaNo for this exact reason, saying that writing fast makes you sloppy and makes novels bad, but the fact is, writing fast is a necessary skill for when you build up a career. Deadlines, you know? Also, for people who struggle to actually finish a novel, this gives you the push you might need, for example, to stop editing while you're writing, which is a no-no, in case you didn't catch my italics. Writing fast actually taps you into creativity, so I'd recommend it.
4) If you're new, it can introduce you to the writing world. NaNoWriMo has pep talks from authors, boards on which NaNoWriMoers can talk, and similar resources that can teach you, as a newbie, about our writing world. You're welcome.
5) If you're not new, you'll still meet new people and spend more time with old. It's a whole other writing community, guys. Don't miss out.
6) You can win prizes! There are lots of promotions and such associated with NaNoWriMo, if you win. The biggest one is that CreateSpace, a self-publishing platform connected to Amazon.com, will allow you to self-publish your complete novel for free sometime in the next month. Since I'm against self-publishing, I don't usually need this, but this year, if I time it right, I'm planning on using this prize to publish a compilation of my recently deceased grandmother's journals. Good stuff. Good stuff indeed.
7) You get advice from published authors, through the aforementioned pep talks. For experienced writers, it's not very new or original, but it can be a nice reminder. And for newbies, I'm sure it's of great assistance.
8) You'll be able to understand the NaNoToons, which are pretty darn hilarious, I think. Here's a link to those.
9) Also, NaNoWriMo: The Musical, which they made last year, and which is also pretty great. Here's your link over there.
10) The NaNo website has links to resources for publishing and editing, which is probably very useful for newbies.
11) It makes you sound seriously awesome. Like, writing a novel in a month? That's pretty cool.
12) You feel like a superhero when you win. If you win. And even if you don't, you've gotten some progress and you're on your way! Look at you!
13) If you're not starting a novel, you can go NaNoRebel, and do something else like write poetry, or short stories, finish a novel you've already started, or edit... whatever you want. It gives you the benefits of the rest, so you might as well if you're with it.
14) There are spin-offs every month in different areas, although only two that I know of are actually NaNoWriMo-connected and high-quality. There's Camp NaNoWriMo, NaNo in the summer, like, July or August, and then there's Script Frenzy in April for play writers. So if you need more options, those are there!
15) If you've got a local group for NaNoWriMo, you can go to sponsored parties and write-ins and stuff. I don't have one here, so I wouldn't really know about that, but I hear it's really fun.
16) There are also prizes during their donation spree halfway through, if you're willing to donate. Which, if you can, you should, because this is such an awesome program and it makes me happy.
17) There's a kid's program too, where you can do lower word counts. Which means budding authors and more fun! I started out there, myself. I know some schools and classes do NaNoWriMo as a learning thing, which is super cool and edutastic.
18) It reminds you that the real competition in the writing world is you. Sometimes we get all jealous and competitive, us artists, but in NaNoWriMo, you're competing against yourself. I mean, there are ways to compete against others in NaNo as well, and that can be fun, but ultimately, it's about your goal.
19) For those who struggle some with getting writing done, it puts you in the habit of doing the work and hitting the proper word-count.
20) It's a new challenge, and challenges help you grow. I like to challenge myself, so every year with my success I up the ante. This year I'm trying to write two novels in a month, with actual completion of at least one and a lot of work on the second. Pushing yourself forward is always a good thing.
21) Since you're focusing on this one goal, you get a break from the rest of life. I don't know about you, but to me, breaks from life is goooood.
22) The little graph with your progress is super insanely motivating. It makes me happy, looking at it. Of course, if you're not doing so great, it might not be so happy, but it's still motivation! It'll keep you going.
23) Best-selling novels have been born during NaNoWriMo. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins are all examples. *This point taken from My Life as a Teenage Novelist.*
24) It's really truly a lot of fun. I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it, and this is my fourth year.
25) There's a story in you, and it's time to tell it.
Thanks for the read, guys, and come back next time for a "what if" game post. And happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! Hope you all have a good one with food and family and thankfulness.
Did I convince you?
Image via NaNoWriMo.
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