Want to Write Your Own Novel? Why You Should Try NaNoWriMo

Writing your own fantasy or sci-fi novel is tough, but NaNoWriMo equips you for success.
Want to Write Your Own Novel? Why You Should Try NaNoWriMo

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Camp NaNoWriMo is coming to a close at the end of this month, and in November the main NaNoWriMo event will start. Everyone who has ever dreamed of writing a novel—or is writing a novel and needs a little motivation to do it—will be breaking out their trusty pens and laptops to finish their new manuscript.

I write a lot, both for this job and my own personal enjoyment. Once Camp NaNoWriMo ends this will mark my second time participating in NaNoWriMo and its satellite events. I've enjoyed it both times.

There's something immensely satisfying about working through a month-long writing project and succeeding, but what if you want to write a novel and you haven't done NaNoWriMo before?

If you're still on the fence, here are some reasons you should join.

1. It Teaches You How to Get Something Done

One of the biggest benefits of NaNoWriMo is that it teaches you how to get your story done, warts and all.

When you first started writing you might have been bitten by the editor bug. You might have felt that you couldn't get on with the rest of your story until you made this one section "better". As a result, your story languished in developmental hell for years.

NaNoWriMo teaches you that everyone's first draft is always terrible, and that's okay—you just need to get it done. The goal is to not have a perfect draft, but to get those words onto the page.

2. It Helps You Increase Your Speed as a Writer

The second best thing that NaNo does is that it helps you increase your writing speed and gets you used to a routine.

Whether you already have a routine in place that you want to improve, or you're hoping to create one, NaNoWriMo shows you how to stick to a daily writing schedule to meet your quota. By doing this routine for a month the habit will get ingrained.

3. It Can Feel Like a Rush to Get Your Novel Done

It goes without saying, but finishing your novel in a month—even if it's just the first draft—can be an incredible confidence booster. Writers often struggle with self-doubt, but when you have a win like this it can ease up on your guilt just a bit.

4. The Community Aspects Are Worthwhile

NaNoWriMo is great for building community with other writers. From following the hashtags on Twitter for #NaNoWriMo, to participating in the "Cabin" aspect of Camp NaNoWriMo, or talking to other writers on the forums, you can find critique partners and other people to commiserate with over the state of your first drafts.

NaNoWriMo's Cabins are particularly interesting, because they sort you into a small group of people based upon a set of parameters—for example, the genre you're writing in and the age bracket of your story. Then they set you up on a private message board with other writers where you can chat and encourage each other.

5. Product Discounts... If You Finish

Lastly, NaNoWriMo offers product discount from their sponsors if you finish/win the event.

Every year, those who participate are given a chance to buy writing software at heavily discounted prices. It's a great deal that everyone should take advantage of if they sign up.

Try NaNoWriMo This Year!

NaNoWriMo is there to help you with your manuscript, whether you're a new writer, a published author, or someone who's working on something other than a novel, like a script.