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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Four Reasons I Do National Novel Writing Month

This month I'm participating in NaNoWriMo, which if you haven't heard of it, is National Novel Writing Month. One signs up at the site  and writes 50,000 words during the month of November. I'm on a good start this year and wanted to share with you why I do this and how it can impact anything you write, be that a blog, short stories, novels, non-fiction, etc.

The first major benefit in participating, in my opinion, is that you write every day no matter what, no matter how much.
Second, it can teach you how to outline, because if you outline you have a road map for those 50,000 words so if you get lost or sidetracked, you can get back on track easily. I did that for the first time last year and it literally saved me. I ended up doing 70,000 words. I don't like outlining, but now I'm a convert.
Third, you learn, if you don't know already, how to write a first draft WITHOUT EDITING AS YOU GO. This is so important for anyone writing anything. To get it down while it's fresh in your mind and unsullied by your inner editor gives you more wiggle room when you move on to the second draft.
Fourth reason is, if you are new to writing, you will learn what it really means to write EVERY DAY. If you are seasoned veteran, you will find that the freedom of allowing your thoughts to freely roam while your fingers take dictation is addicting. Each day watching that word count rise keeps the brain high as a kite with not only a sense of accomplishment, but also a joy in allowing yourself to write for whatever reasons you have chosen to write.
I don't need more than four reasons to do NaNo, because these four are good and critical no matter what I write. Imagine how many blog posts you could get done in one month (you AtoZer's know what I mean)! If you're going to participate in A to Z next year, you could get them all done with some to spare (30 compared to 26)! One participant I know will be writing ten short stories this month. I'm working on a memoir. Use your imagination!That's what NaNo is all about.

If you're doing NaNo, what are your reasons? If not, why not? Thanks for stopping by!

Images from:


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lisa - this is so true .. and I hope will inspire budding authors to get to it

Congratulations on giving it another go this year ... great post for us all ... NaNoers and A-Zers .. cheers Hilary

Heather M. Gardner said...

I wish I had the willpower to do it. I tried it and I can't make myself write.

Best of luck to you and those that are giving it a shot!


Shelley Wilson said...

This is my second year and I'm loving it! I decided to tackle NaNo last year and researched the best way to cope - outlining came out top! I am such a passionate outliner now ha ha. Great post. Good luck with your quest and I will see you at the finish line ;)

Lisa said...

Yes Shelley! I just wish I could figure out how to find people I know to become writing buddies with at the site!

Lisa said...

Thanks Hilary! I'm excited about getting this done and I guess it shows!

Lisa said...

I know Nano isn't for everyone and thanks for the good wishes!

AJ Lauer said...

Lisa, what is your screen name at NaNo? I'd love to friend you :) (mine is frodofrog, of course!)
This year I'm doing NaNo to finish the novel I've been working on with my co-author for the last year. We need to just focus and get it done, and what better time than NaNo when there are loads of other crazy people out there writing their brains out too? :)
We should finish next week sometime, so after that I'm looking forward to working on another project, and basking in the first one being completed.
Happy NaNo'ing!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I wrote my second book during NaNo 2010. Advantage - some of us are just plain lazy and need the kick in the butt.

ErraticElle said...

This is my first NaNoWriMo and I'm terrified. It's forcing me out of my comfort zone...which ultimately IS a good thing. I'm learning that I do need to outline more, but even outlining isn't always perfect. Sometimes the words just lead you in a different direction than intended. I've already changed a pretty major premise and I haven't written that many words! Fear aside, I'm having a pretty good time. Good luck to you!

Stephen Tremp said...

Goota love those NaNo comics. So true. This is my third time around and I'm off to a pretty good start. Just have to keep it going.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Great post. Yup, I'm NaNoWriMo partaking. Fighting for words.

Unknown said...

I try to participate in Nanowrimo every year. I love the energy at our local write-ins and I always meet some interesting young writers. It also helps me get back into the habit of writing around 2,000 words a day. Life gets in the way sometimes and I need Nano to get me refocused every November.

Dihiwi said...

Me too. I am part of a region but it hasn't worked out to go to any write-ins. And, there's no easy way to send messages on updates or encourage others on an ongoing basis. My name on NaNoWriMo is "dihiwi" I'd love to connect to help encourage and be inspired, too.

Click said...

I join in during NaNo every year. Much like the A to Z Challenge it's one of those things I tried once and then always tell myself I probably won't bother with it the next year, only for that time of year to roll around once more and I get sucked in again.

I love it because I like to write but since I left school and became a proper adult with all those grown up responsibilities I just don't get the same sort of time to write as I used to. During NaNo I can tell all my family and friends that I have to write and because I'm doing it for an actual real reason, I have an excuse to neglect other things a little bit and get on with it. It gives me a real thrill when my colleagues at work or my Mum ask me how many words I've got for the day.

Anyway, better get on with it. I'm just 200 words away from 40k and those words aren't going to write themselves!