The mere fact that you opened this post indicates there’s a book you’re itching to write. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a great opportunity to write it.
I’m a two time NaNoWrimo winner – 2013 and 2016, so take it from me – it’s a great challenge to undertake for six key reasons:
You’ll feel a sense of accomplishmenton November 30th after you finish writing your book, (or at least 50,000 words of it). You’ll surprise yourself with how capable you are and you’ll realize anything is possible. (I bought a Super Woman shirt and wore it every time I sat down to write after winning NaNoWriMo because writing was my realized super power. Okay, not every time…but you get the point – I was proud of myself.)
You’ll extinguish writer’s block forever.You’ll learn to write even when you run out of ideas because you’ve got a timeline and pressure and you can’t let anything stop you from finishing. The words will keep flowing when you think you’re stumped and you’ll realize writer’s block is just an excuse to procrastinate, or be OCD about your story. You’ll also stop re-reading and wasting time with checking your sentences over and over to make them perfect.
You’ll build discipline.You’ll get addicted to the thrill and find yourself in the habit of writing at certain times of the day. It’ll be a difficult habit to break. You will want to do NaNoWriMo again.
You’ll build a network who inspires and enables you. NaNo offers so many free tools for participants that will help you keep writing during and after November. You’ll also be able to participate in group forums, local writing sessions, build a network of people that motivate you and help you improve your writing. NaNo is worldwide!
You’ll realize it’s not as difficult as it seems. You have a job? No problem. So do I. Do you know that if you sat down Monday to Friday for 20 minutes with your morning coffee, you would write 800 words and if you sat down again on the same days for another 20 minutes before bed, you could write another 800 words? Then you could bump up your word count on the weekends with longer, dedicated sessions and write 3,000 on Saturday and 3,000 on Sunday. You’d end up very close to 50,000 words on November 30th. You’ll find it so easy in fact that you’ll probably do 30-45 minute sessions on the weekdays instead of 20 and have less to write on the weekends.
Even ifffffff (did you see that? big if.) you end up with quantity over quality, you’ll have learned all the cool things from bullet points 1-5 and you can take your time with the next book. I find I “won better” the second time I did NaNo because I learned so much the first time.