NaNo Prep #0: Why Bother?

The clock is ticking for everyone who plans to participate in NaNoWriMo*. November is just around the corner and I can feel excitement building up. 🙂 I still need to write an outline for my story, do some research, and brainstorm with my friends, but I’m slowly moving towards the starting line.

Why bother, you could ask. Why spend the whole month trying to squeeze writing in between every other activity, why not just forget about this challenge and write at my own speed?

Four reasons:

1) It’s a kick in the ass.

Sit down and write. Or stand in line and write, commute and write, sleep and write

Write every moment you can. And a few you can’t.

2) It’s empowering!

My last year’s NaNo story was the longest thing I had ever written up to date and let me tell you, IT FELT GREAT to cross that finish line. It was my first try and there were times when I doubted I could do it. But I proved myself that I can. It’s something I’m proud of. Not surprising I’m back for another round, right?

3) Community

Some of us are lucky enough to have writing support system twelve months out of the year, but even then we’re not always on the same page – I procrastinate when someone else blazes through their epic story, and while I’m pulling my hair out over my character’s stupid choices, my friend spends her weekend reblogging photos of Aaron Tveit on Tumblr.

During November, though? Everyone is writing (between bursts of procrastination on Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, etc., etc.). You can share your success, struggle, wordcount, headcount, whatever you want. And whenever you do, someone will always be there, going through the same thing at the same time.

Bonus: during November you get another platform to procrastinate on: NaNo forum.

4) It requires commitment.

Deadlines fuel me. Fixed, announced in public deadlines are like law.

There’s a reason why, when I decided to try writing a longer story for the first time, I signed up for the bigbang challenge**, and that reason is additional motivation. And believe me, there were days when that was the only motivation that worked.

I wish I was a writer who regularly writes a lot regardless of the calendar or whether or not there’s a challenge involved. But since I’m not (or, better: until I’m not), I use what works.

And NaNo definitely works. 🙂

So, those are my reasons. Have you ever tried NaNo? Do you plan on doing it this year?

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* NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month, a challenge where you have to write 50k words during the month of November. You can read more about it here: www.nanowrimo.org

** BigBang challenge – a fandom challenge where you have to write a complete story (20k words minimum) and collaborate with an artist who creates an artwork for it. There’s a specific time restriction involved, usually the writing part lasts around three months or so. Some rules vary depending on the fandom.

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