Sunday, October 23, 2011

Top 5 Reasons You Should Do NaNoWriMo This Year

"What's NaNoWriMo?" the uninitiated ask.

"It's National Novel Writing Month," the Chosen Ones answer. "It happens every November. You sign up online, then spend 30 days ('cause November couldn't have been one of the months with 31) furiously scrabbling to find a way to slap together 50,000 more-or-less coherent words."

Stunned silence is the general response, followed closely by: Why?

I'm glad you asked. Here, in no particular order, are the top 5 reasons you should participate in NaNo 2011:

1.  It's invigorating. NaNo is bracing. It's a blast of creative juice that soaks the Muse right out of her rather apathetic stupor.
Thanks! I needed that!
2. It's just what the doctor ordered. You know that manuscript? The sick one? The one you've been meaning to make some chicken soup for, take to ER, and rub its back till it feels better? NaNo gives you a whole month to indulge the headachy, snot-filled, fever-ridden work-in-progress. After 30 days of caregiving, you'll know beyond the shadow of a doubt whether or not the patient can be saved.

Is book unwell? Mummy's here, dear...
3.  It will force you to look at things from a new vantage point. With NaNo, there's precious little time for second-guessing. Or editing. Or proofreading, for that matter. It's a write-like-your-life-depends-upon-it undertaking. Which makes you overlook things that may have slowed you down in the past. Every new NaNo day marks uncharted territory. There is no time to revisit what you did yesterday. Get ready to be bumped out of your comfort zone!

I'm seeing things I never dreamed of!

4. Try something daring. Has your writing become rote? Complacent? ~ahem~ By-the-book (pardon the pun)?  NaNo gives you permission to throw away your crutches and safety nets. Try something you'd never normally do. Go ahead: it won't kill you!

This ain't the way I normally roll...

5.  You discover your personal writer's work ethic. No matter how supportive your cheerleaders, no one can write your book for you. (Technically, that's not true. Ghostwriters can. But that kind of negates the whole "I'm going to write a novel this month" thing...) NaNo shows you exactly what it takes to shoulder the book-writing load and git 'r done.

Keep moving forward...
What are you waiting for? Only a few days separate us from the beginning of NaNoWriMo 2011. Don't delay! Sign up today! Oh, and comment below if I missed your favorite reason for NaNo-ing. Happy writing...

All photos courtesy of MorgueFile, except the one showing the crazy person perched atop a 1-ton horse with nothing to stop her fall if the horse should decide he no longer wants her there. Yeah, that's me on my Percheron. 'Cause I'm just that stupid...

10 comments:

KD Sarge said...

NaNo gives me an excuse to stop editing and write. :D

At that stage in a career where most people write a first book, edit it, maybe write another, edit it and then the first book, et cetera, I just kept writing. So I have a lot of unedited manuscripts around, and spend a lot of time working on those. NaNo says I can write myself one more unedited manuscript, and so I love it.

Muse said...

This will be my first year trying to do this. Oh boy. :)

Ami Hendrickson said...

KD Sarge,
Ah yes, that's definitely Reason #6: Stop Editing Already! :D I, too, have unedited ms. sitting around. But not nearly as many as the number of unFINISHED ms. I have. Hopefully, after this November, I'll have one less unfinished one!

Muse & KD: Here's wishing BOTH of you good luck!

jesswords10 said...

Love these reasons. And NaNo is fun. There is a camaraderie! The site also has great tips and prompts and suggestions to keep you going. It is a way to at least get out characters, scenes, and story albeit in a frenzied, maddening way. But that's what makes it such BLISS!

Coco del Corazon said...

My mother died quite suddenly in August and I have been given some of her many journals that she began over the years. It is comforting to hear her words again, discovering at last the woman that she was. I smile at her clever use of words and am touched by her insight into the events around her. However, each year a journal begins with a yearning to be a writer, but the writing ends suddenly a few weeks later.
If you have ever wanted to write, I implore you to take up this challenge. Follow it through to the end of the month and see what you end up with. NaNoWriMo isn't so much about producing a bestseller by Christmas. NaNoWriMo is about what you become in the process. With NaNoWriMo behind you, your next journal won't begin like my mother's always did, "I want to be a writer." By December you'll be able to say, "I am a writer."
Coco
http://threeof7.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/why/

Ami Hendrickson said...

Jesswords10: Ah, yes, the camaraderie! That's a BIG plus. (Anyone want to be Writing Buddies? I'm on NaNo -- you know where to find me!) Good luck this year!

Coco: Very touching tribute to your mother. When I teach writing workshops, I always encourage my students to stop *wanting* and start *being.* I tell them, "Whenever anyone asks 'What do you do?' don't tell them about your career or your kids. Don't let them define you. Tell them 'I'm a writer.'" In a very real sense, your mother's dream of being a writer did come true. She wrote and, even though she's gone, the words she wrote still speak to you. She has a dedicated reader. No author could wish for more.

Gydle said...

I'm gonna do it!! Thanks for motivating me! WOo hoo, here we come, November...

Plus it's a good excuse to stop all this translating I'm doing and write my own copy for once.

Tiffany said...

Am doing it agains this year. Couldn't finish last year because it was crunch time for school and I had to move as they sold my apartment building to make dorms for the university across the street. This year, I'm paying back school debt which means I'm home practically all day, so I can indulge in this reckless literary abandon. Have my schedule ready. :-)

Ellis Shuman said...

Good luck to you in the NaNo challenge!

I linked to this article in my post about the NaNo writers' craze.

Ami Hendrickson said...

Gydle & Tiffany: Good luck to you in NaNo this year!

Ellis: Thanks for linking! Are you participating in the NaNo madness as well? Or are you just having fun looking at the inmates in the zoo? :D