November is National Novel Writing Month. Visit nanowrimo.org today! Need a reason? Here are five.
1. You’ll Have Permission To Be Crazy
Last year over 300,000 people signed up for NaNoWriMo. They ate, drank, and sometimes slept by their computers. They pretended they were Kafka (okay maybe they pretended they were Suzanne Collins.) They stayed up past their bedtimes. They forgot to shop for groceries. They yelled into their phones, “Not now, I’m writing!” And it was okay, because they had warned their friends. In fact, their friends thought it was kind of cool to be a part of it all, if only to be yelled at. And the best part of this craziness – it has an end date. December 1st, after a nice nap, you’ll go back to nice, normal you. But a you that has written a book.
2. You’ll Have WRITTEN A BOOK
50,000 words is approximately a 200 page book. NaNoWrimo will get you through your first draft, and it will be far from perfect, but you can still say “I’ve written a novel.” Start now with a character, give them a desperation for something (the last available box of Hostess Ding Dongs, founding a new city, setting the world record for high fives, getting the girl) give them some obstacles, maybe a nemesis, and then on Nov. 1st, start writing. You don’t need the perfect first sentence yet. You can go back and figure that out when you’re done and you finally know what your book’s about.
3. You’ll Appreciate Great Books Even More
How did Harper Lee make us love Scout? How did J.K. Rowling make us desperate to turn the page to find out who was good and who was bad, and whether good would win? How can the best writers get away with entire pages of description without boring a hole in our skulls? You’ll have an even greater appreciation for great writers, even if, maybe especially if, you are one of the 10% or so of NaNoWriMoers who finish their books.
4. You’ll Be Called A Winner
My first year, I only made it to 25,000 words. And hey, that’s 25,000 words more than most people write, and I have a good start to a book. But this year, I’m more prepared. I have an outline, and I know how to use it. Come December first, I intend to have some NaNoWriMo “Winner” paraphernalia even if I have to buy it myself (which I think I do.) My softball days are long gone, and I don’t play the lottery, so how else can I be called a winner, I ask you!
5. See #2
Everyone has one story in them. Tell it! If not now, when?