What is NaNoWriMo and Why Should I Care?


What: NaNoWriMo is a crazy mnemonic for National Novel Writing Month. The challenge: Write 50,000 words (about a novella or a short novel) in 30 days.

Why: Because why not? Because a lot of people say they want to write a book but never actually sit down and do it. Because it’s fun? Because it’s a great way to motivate yourself when you know a lot of other people are all striving for the same goal. Because it’s exciting to challenge yourself to stretch beyond your everyday expectations to see if you can rise above the dreck and do something amazing. Because sometimes NaNoWriMo authors go on to become published, or even wildly successful.

Who: Anyone who wants to. Maybe YOU!

When: THIS MONTH! RIGHT NOW, get on it!

How: A) Sign up at http://nanowrimo.org/dashboard. Or don’t, it’s up to you. Then, sit down and write a novel in the method of your choosing. It really is that easy (and that hard).

My personal NaNo experiences have all be wonderful. Largely exhausting, but wonderful. My first novel, Alt.World, grew out of my time in NaNoWriMo, first as the 30-day writing challenge (which I then finished over the next few months), then the next year I used NaNo as motivation to sit down and actually edit the whole thing and refine it, in a little personal NaNo challenge. Then I wrote my book Undead Rising: Decide Your Destiny, which was a lot of fun and now can be bought as an actual, real book (or ebook). I don’t know that I would have committed to it without something like NaNo pushing me to reach the challenge. So for three years running I met my goals and “won” the challenge. I took last year off because of a death in the family, but I’ve been waiting for this all year. I’m pretty pumped. It’s the one month of the year that I really protect my writing time above all else, saying, “Ok, world, I’ll be back in a month, but this? This is my time.” A

It really does just come down to that: I make a promise, and I do it. I hope you will, too.

Wanna swap NaNo stories? How’re you staying focused this year?


Filed under writing

2 responses to “What is NaNoWriMo and Why Should I Care?

  1. My NaNo is being disrupted by the day job. As I’m thankful to finally have one of those again I’m not complaining, but have decided if NaNo can only get me back into the habit of writing every day, I’m considering it a win. I’m not stressing about reaching 50k. I just want that badge that says I updated my word count each day. So far, so good 🙂

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