3 Reasons to NaNoWriMo

Are you ready to write 50,000 words in one month flat?
I am.
For the first time, I will be participating in NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month.


Why this year? Here are 3 good reasons.

  • Timing. My work schedule has some lag time about now and it’s convenient. That is, I want a new novel done some time next year and by banging out 50,000 words now, I’ll have a rough draft next summer instead of start from scratch. I can’t spend more than a month right now. On the other hand, I do have other projects scheduled and I don’t have more than a month to spend on a new project. And I want to maximize my time and effort. Pouring out a full draft in a month sounds exciting.Because this is going to work really well (do you hear my optimism?), I will also be in better shape next year, when I have time to return to this story. I’ll have a draft, and revisions will be faster for the work done this year.
  • Trust the process. Learning to trust the process must be a life-long project for writers. Because this writer is having to do that over and over this year. So, instead of fighting the process, I’ve decided to embrace the writing process for the month of November.
  • Taking creative risks. Writing a novel is always a risk. In novel revision retreats, I have people walk around and congratulate each other on writing a full draft of a novel. It’s an amazing accomplishment. Each time I start a new novel, I am very aware of the risk, that this novel may be one that lands in a file drawer, or that I will abandon it and not finish. And yet, to be creative means to take risks, to reach for something new and different, and to go where “no one has gone before.” If I’m not taking risks in my work, then I’m going nowhere. But risks are scary and uncomfortable. NaNoWriMo is a contained risk: I only have to write 50,000 words and it’s only for a month. It’s risky, sure. But there’s support, others to follow, inspiration and there’s a definite end to it. I am very glad there will be an end to the month of NaNoWriMo.

Of course, getting ready for this, I’ve been reviewing my book, START YOUR NOVEL. I need to take my own advice!

Are you NaNoWriMoing? (How’s that for turning an acronym into a verb?)
Any words of encouragement for me?

5 responses to “3 Reasons to NaNoWriMo”

  1. Hi Darcy. I have your revision book and have been a fan for quite awhile. Like you, I will be NaNoing this year — my fourth –although this year my freelance writing schedule and another book project will be consuming a significant amount of my time, so I’m a bit anxious about scheduling my time. Since you asked about advice, I’ll say that scheduling the time, and forcing one’s self to put words on a page, while ignoring the ever-present self-critic, are the two biggest challenges for me. Best of luck!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement! The time is going to be especially difficult. I am starting out with a family trip this weekend, so I must find the time to do it while on the trip. If I can make it through that will a couple thousand words, I think I will be fine.

  3. Hi Darcy! The timing is good for me too this year — so here I go, for the first time, though I hope my visiting mother-in-law (2 weeks surrounding T-giving) will forgive the looney woman her son married. So — I am very bad at writing a few thousand words one day and then spending the next week editing the poop out of it. But I found this quote while reading THE PLOT WHISPERER: “The less time you devote to making every word perfect in the first … drafts the less painful future cuts and revisions will be. Because you haven’t invested hundreds of hours going back to the beginning, you’ll be less reluctant to cut the …35 to 100 pages that almost always get chopped from the beginning….The more of yourself you give to making every word perfect before moving on to the next scene, the more emotionally attached you become to the words.” This sounds sort of obvious, but for some reason it hit home with me.These are the words I’m living by during NaNo (or let’s face it, I will NEVER finish in time!) Good luck to you, and thanks, always, for your fantastic advice!!

  4. Christina:
    Glad to know you’re taking the NaNoWriMo journey, too. Yes! it’s not an investment in individual words or phrases, but an investment in a story.