50,000 words a month. That’s a little over 1666 words a day. Just in case there was even the slightest iota of a chance that you didn’t already know (liar! It’s impossible not to know) it’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) again. Globally, aspiring authors are sequestering their persons and preparing to willingly drive themselves completely insane under the pretence of writing a novel in 30 days, and you know what? You could be one of them!
In fact, you totally should be one of them. Here’s 5 reasons why you…yes you reading this sentence right now, should totally take part in NaNoWriMo…even if you’re not actually writing a novel:
- Um…so you can write that damn novel: Are you that person who has been talking about writing the next best-selling novel for the past 10 years? Do your friends and family groan and roll their eyes whenever you mention it, but you still think you can do better than J.K. Rowling? Do people doubt you when you say you’re going to write a novel someday (either because they know you’re the king/queen of procrastination, or they’re just haters who doubt you?). Well, here’s your chance to prove your naysayers wrong, and prove that you can actually write a novel. Do it just to say I told you so with a smug face.
- You can form a writing habit: Even if you’re not actually writing a novel this is a great time to get yourself into the habit of writing something, anything every single day. I know it kind of defeats the purpose, but I’m gonna go ahead and say even if you don’t hit the 1666 target, 500 words written daily is a great way to train yourself to write regularly. And if you don’t have a novel idea? OK, no problem. You can still journal every day or write a collection of short stories and/or poems. If you have a blog, write a blog post a day (…or you know, you could just take part in NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month, I mean come on…do you really not see how the theme for November is writing?Take…the…damn…hint).
- It’s your chance to find your community: NaNo is a global event! That’s millions of writers writing. At the same time. It’s a great time to connect with other writers, and if you’re lacking a little confidence, or you don’t know how to start, or you’re that person who starts a project and doesn’t finish it because you lose motivation halfway through, or there’s something new to binge-watch on Netflix (you are not alone. Trust me) there’s an entire global community who are there to support you. Either online, or even during a writers’ meetup.
- You keep your creative juices flowing: I find that writing on the regular really helps keep ideas flowing. When I stop writing for a little while, it’s harder to get back into it as the idea factory in my mind halts production until I can force myself to get back to writing something. NaNo is a great time to play with ideas, and discover new ones.
- You kick procrastination’s ass: You know you should be writing…but…your books aren’t going to read themselves…and before you know it, the whole day is over and you’re kicking yourself because you didn’t write anything…and then tomorrow comes but…then…Netflix isn’t going to watch itself. And the cycle continues. NaNo forces you to turn off the TV and actually commit to writing, because there’s no chance in hell you’re going to hit the daily target if you let yourself procrastinate, and trust me, it’s hard as hell to play catch-up if you miss your word count!
- You get into the habit of writing without editing: Um…I’ve written this, but I’m still not sure that this is 100% possible. Maybe it should be edit significantly less. Since you need to focus on meeting your daily word count, you won’t have the time to edit. That’s the theory at least – but writing without editing is definitely a fantastic habit to build. I’m still working on it.
So, grab your writers survival kit…Coffee. Grab some coffee. and take (and enjoy) your journey to madness and 50,000 words.