10/30/17

Why NaNoWriMo is Good for You

In a matter of hours, National Novel Writing Month 2017 begins.  Feel the pressure yet? The excitement?  The judgment and criticism?
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After all, why bother?  

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This is the holiday season.  The clock strikes midnight on Halloween and the NaNoWriMo ticker starts ticking.  In 23 days, it will be Thanksgiving. 

And it's year-end, business-wise.  There are deadlines to meet.  Procrastinating clients will call in a frantic need for something yesterday. Happens every year.

So, is it nuts to add the goal of writing 1700 words each day for 30 days into the mix?  Am I crazy for doing this?

Well, sure, maybe. 



What I Get Out of NaNoWriMo

Here's the thing.  I don't dedicate my Novembers to NaNoWriMo because I'm planning on writing the Great American Novel in one month's time. 

I'm doing it for several other reasons, ones that I think help me and may help you, too, Dear Reader should you decide to join in the fun.  Things like:

  • It helps my self-discipline.  I keep to a schedule during the holiday season. 
  • It spurs my imagination.  Each morning, there is a fun and safe invitation to dream and fantasize all sorts of things.  Dogs that can talk; pink skies; mysterious passageways ....  And I can put them into plots, not just leave them in my daydreams.
  • It helps me see how much and how fast I can write.  As the chapters build, there is a sense of accomplishment.  Of doing something just for me.  Just. For. Me.
  • It helps me build a story without worrying about vocabulary, dialogue, setting.  I fly though the day's word count getting the story down for that day.  It's freeing.  I'm a storyteller and I'm not sure what's going to happen the next day. 
  • Finally, it keeps the Judgmental Bear away.  Oh, how I love to criticize myself!  Here, I know that I'm writing a bad novel.  It's supposed to be bad.  To make sure I keep this in mind, I do things like start each year's epic with the same sentence:  "On a dark and stormy night ...."
  • It's creative.  I draw maps of the village, I cut out photos of watches or cars or recipes or cats that fit with my storyline.  I collect them with disc-binding into this fun, zany scrapbook slash art journal.  They go alongside my words, which I hand-wrote last year and plan on doing again this year.  This disc-bound book gets big.  It's magical.  I add washi tape and vintage postcards and lace.  Done right, it needs a big fat ribbon to hold itself together.  I love this.
  • Bottom line, it's fun.  NaNoWriMo is fun.  And I need all the fun I can get these days, don't you?


For more, check out:

"Fast-Draft Writing for NaNoWriMo and Every Other Month," posted on September 19, 2017 by Writing Coach;
and all the NaNoWriMo online Pep Talks by writers like Dean Koontz, John Green, Sue Grafton, Tom Robbins, Meg Cabot and many more .





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