If you’re not familiar, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) takes place in November (because screw turkey and family arguments), and is an occasion for you to do your darn’dest to crank out a 50,000 word novel between Halloween and December 1. I completed my first attempt in 2014, motivated by insanity and a desire to have the stupid badge on my blog. Thinking back on it, I get the shakes. It was awful. Torturous. Physical and mental anguish.
And you should do it.
Now that I’ve made NaNoWriMo sound SO enticing as a process, let’s talk about why you should participate.
Because you need a reason to write.
All writers know A LOT of people who “… would love to right a novel, but I just don’t have the time.” Well, NaNoWriMo is the perfect excuse to ditch other things and write. It’s only one month, which is a reasonable period of time to skip book club, ask your partner to make dinner (for a change), ignore laundry, and otherwise blow-off friend and family responsibilities. To anyone who complains, just say, “Hey, it’s only for a month. Now shoo. I need to make my daily word count. No, I will not shower first.”
Because being part of something is motivating.
It’s not like you’ll be doing NaNoWriMo by yourself. There’s a web site where you can keep track of your progress, meet other writers, and get inspired. Writers constantly tweet about their progress. It’s a whole thing, and you could be part of it – caught-up in the craziness with the rest of us.
Because writing a book is hard, and writing a book in a month is really friggin’ hard.
Look, I’m obviously not going to tell you NaNoWriMo is easy. It’s not, hence all my earlier comments about pain and suffering. But doing hard things is cool. So if writing a novel is hard (be honest, how many people do you who’ve done it?) yet rewarding, imagine how hard and rewarding doing 50K words in one month is? And afterwards, you’ll really appreciate the time you spent
in hell during NaNoWriMo, especially once you can sleep again, and that constant burning-dog-hair smell fades away. Yes, the nosebleeds will stop, too.
Now go start your outline, stock up on K-cups, and explain to your partner how you’ll have no time to shave (anything) in November. NaNoWriMo is only a few weeks away.
Thanks for reading.