National Novel Writing Month is fast approaching. Come November 1, hundreds of thousands of people are going to sit down with their computers (or with paper and pens) with the goal of writing a 50,000 words novel before midnight on November 30.
While this might sound crazy, there are actually a few good reasons why you should join in and start working on your novel too.
1. You’ll have a community of writers
You won’t have to be the only person you know writing a book. You won’t even be the only person you know who’s tackling writing the whole book in a single month. Every morning (or evening!) when you sit down to write, you’ll know that you have other people doing the same thing you are.
When you sign up, you can choose your region. This lets you team up with other people who live nearby. Sometimes your region will have get togethers where everyone shows up at the same place and writes together for a while.
If writing in a group isn’t your thing, you can still participate in the forums. You can offer (or get) encouragement from other writers, find help on character and plot, and get tips on how to finish out the month strong.
No matter how you choose to communicate with others, you’ll still know that you’re not doing this alone.
2. You’ll have a reason to write every day
The one piece of advice I hear over and over about writing is that you have to do it every day. Unfortunately, there are a million reasons why we can’t write every day. We have school, classes, families, kids, pets… it all adds up to some pretty convenient excuses.
When you’re working on NaNoWriMo, though, you have a schedule to stick to. You’re not just working on an elusive goal of eventually finishing this novel. You’re trying to finish the novel before November 30. That puts more pressure on you (the good kind of pressure) to actually work every day.
I’ll do the math for you. If you want to write 50,000 words in 30 days, you have to write about 1,667 words per day. And you can’t do that if you don’t just sit down and write every day.
3. You’ll have the opportunity to help charity
NaNoWriMo as an organization works with libraries, community centers, and schools to help foster a love of writing in everyone –without charging a dime. This means that the money that they use to keep their organization running and creating the kits that they give away for free comes from sponsors and individuals who donate.
Even if you don’t want to give them any cash, you can buy merchandise, get sponsored by fundraising, or set up your Amazon Smile account to donate a percent of your purchases. And with the holiday season coming up, that can add up quickly.
4. You’ll have actual words to work with at the end of the month
Whether you hit your 50,000 goal by November 30 or not, you’ll still have something written. And better some hastily written words than no words at all. You can’t edit what you haven’t written!
Committing to begin writing on November 1 means that you’ll finally be able to get out that story that’s been in your head. And after November is over and you have your 50,000 words (or however many you managed to write), you can take advantage of the organizations “Now What?” emails for help finishing your story or revising what you’ve already started.
5. You’ll have a good habit
Remember what I said in my second point? The one piece of advice I always hear published authors giving is to write every day. And they say that it takes 21 days to solidify a habit. So once you’ve written every day for 30 days, what do you have?
The habit of writing every single day.
And, whether you write 50,000 words, 100,000 words, or just 10,000 words — just having this habit is worth the effort. Don’t you think?
Featured photo credit: mpclemens via flic.kr