Yes, it is nearly that time of year for me again. 50,000 words written in 30 days. 36 days and counting.
But why do I participate in Nanowrimo?
I know not everyone believes in the Nano style of writing without correcting or editing for 30 days solid. (I write that way the majority of the time anyway so, it wasn’t a new concept to me.) I’ve heard all kinds of reasons and many more excuses from writer friends about why Nano isn’t for them. Such as a “real” writer doesn’t need a competition to write. Or the infamous “Nano encourages bad writing” which always makes me laugh. But they are not completely wrong.
Nano does encourage bad writing, but only in the sense that everyone’s first draft is a stinking pile of potential that still needs rewrites and editing. Nano encourages the writer to finish the story, not get bogged down in polishing every single word as it comes out along the way. As for the “real” writer… I don’t need challenges or contests to write. I write most days of the year outside of Nano, and while I know some writers only create during Nano, the ones I know spend the rest of the year revising, editing and rewriting – so still writing all year. I’m a writer because I love to write, not because of the way I choose to write and no less real because I use Nano as one of my writing tools. As writers, we are not competitors on opposite sides but rather colleagues. – There will never be enough books in the world, you know! – But I’ve wandered a bit.
Why Nano for me…
It’s the deadline, and the accountability Nano provides. Can I set deadlines for myself? Of course, I learned in college that some of my best work is produced under the pressure of a deadline, but the accountability is another story. Just knowing that my friends, family and fellow writers are cheering me on makes the difference. I don’t want to let them down. Also, I’m a bit competitive, so watching how my fellow writers are doing throughout the challenge keeps a fire under my butt. I love watching my little graph get higher and higher as I write. It becomes a game and brings fun to my writing particularly on days when the story isn’t flowing well.
Is Nano for you?
Maybe or maybe not, but think of participating this year. It’s free, and you have nothing to lose. Even if you don’t make the 50,000 words, even if you only write 1,000 words all month, that’s still 1,000 more words on your novel than you have right now. And you might just surprise yourself.