Just to get it right out there, I think that any aspiring novelist should partake in NaNoWriMo.
For those of you who have no idea what this is, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s this crazy thing where you try and write 50 000 words in 30 days – otherwise known as the month of November.
This is my fourth year partaking; I’ve won the past two. The first two years of NaNo I wrote memoir pieces. I figured it would still help to stimulate my creativity but it would also allow for me to keep up on my school work (since I was a full-time university student). After all, how could writing about my life in diary entries stress my brain out? I never had to worry about plot – it was my life. I didn’t have to worry about characters – they were people already in my life with predetermined names. For me that made NaNo a win-win situation. The first year I only managed 25 000 words, however the second year I reached the 50 000 goal. Last year I decided to try something different; the whole diary entry thing was getting old for me. I created a plot (the third book in a trilogy I’ve now completed) and wrote a piece of fiction. It went really well. I hit and surpassed the 50 000 word goal. This year I’m trying the same thing. I’m working on a fiction piece set in the same universe as my trilogy, but set with different characters.
So now I guess this is the part where I say why I think NaNoWriMo is such a good thing for writings to partake in.
Right off the bat, I’d say that it’s best for people that struggle with writer’s block. Having a 30 day timeline really forces your brain to think past writer’s block. It’s so short of a time that if you fall behind by a few days, it’s so hard to catch up. The way NaNo’s set up, you need to write 1667 words per day to reach the goal word count at the end of November. Missing a day isn’t the end of the world, but if you miss two or three, all of a sudden you’re 3000 or 5000 words behind. That’s more of a big deal.
NaNo’s also really good for people that have always wanted to try writing, but never have dedicated time to do it. The short timeline of the event helps out here too. People partaking in NaNo can allot certain times of their day for writing and because they have a goal to hit, it’s going to motivate them to write until they reach it.
There are many more ways that I think NaNoWriMo is good for writer’s, but I’m not going to go into them here. It would take up far too much space and to be perfectly honest, I want to get back to working on my novel.
So as a final note I’d like to say that everyone should try and attempt NaNoWriMo at least once in their life. If you don’t reach the word count total goal, then that’s fine. At least you tried. And just think, there’s now a story idea there for you to work on. If you did reach the total words, then good for you. You’ve now joined the leagues of many novelists who have conquered the event.
That’s all I have to say for now, so keep writing!