With the organisers of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) starting to bang the drum for the 2015 event, now's the perfect time to hear from a passionate advocate about how this mega writing prompt can boost the writing productivity of any self-published author. Over to US indie author Samantha Warren…
Ah, November. A month of pumpkin pie, turkeys (if you’re in the US) and NaNo. For the uninitiated, NaNo is a strange word that should have something to do with technology but instead has been adopted by a slew of writers across the globe. National Novel Writing Month, NaNo for short, is November 1st through the 30th and the main impetus is to write a novel in 30 days. 50,000 words, 30 days.
Why I Love NaNoWriMo
I love NaNo. I’ll say it again. I love NaNo. I’ve heard “real writers” scoff at NaNo, at the hundreds of thousands of aspiring novelists who sign up to bleed onto the page for a full month. Those of us who do this as a living know that 1666 words a day really isn’t that many. Most authors I know have a word count goal of at least 2000. And 50,000 words? That’s at the absolute minimum of what constitutes a novel. Most publishers wouldn’t even look at it. And that’s okay, because writing a publishable novel isn’t the point.
That’s right. Writing a novel isn’t the point of NaNo. At least, not the way I see it. The real goal of a month of daily writing isn’t to finish a novel. It’s not to win awesome prizes (but really, who could pass up free print copies from Createspace and pretty badges?). The real goal of NaNo is to develop a habit of writing daily and meeting your word count goals.
How to Get the Regular Writing Habit
Those of us who do it every day know just how hard it is to plop your butt into the chair and force the words onto the page. We know about the inner struggles and the outer distractions. We understand that in order to make it easier, we have to do it Every. Single. Day. And that’s what NaNo is all about. Helping those who really want to be writers, those who truly aspire to make this a career, to develop that daily writing habit and to push through the many distractions that get lumped into Writer’s Block.
Heck, it happens during November, a month that isn’t well suited to full-on writing. It’s the month before Christmas when everyone’s preparing for the holidays. It’s near the end of most semesters, so students are rushing to meet other deadlines. And in the US, Thanksgiving falls right at the end, when most Wrimos are pushing to meet the final word count. Putting NaNo in November could have been poor decision making, I guess, but I choose to believe that the creators knew what they were doing.
So there you have it. National Novel Writing Month isn’t about writing a novel. It’s not about winning. It’s about developing a habit that will stick with you the rest of your life.
And on a side note for all the scoffers out there, check out this list of published authors that came out of NaNo. Remember Water for Elephants? That movie with Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon? Yep, NaNoNovel. Not bad for a month of writing dangerously, eh?
OVER TO YOU NaNoWriMo – love it or hate it? What has NaNoWriMo done for you? We'd love to know! Join our conversation with Samantha via the comments box.#Authors - why should you do @NaNoWriMo this year by #NaNoWriMo veteran @_SamanthaWarren #ww Click To Tweet