The Value of Doing NaNoWriMo by Jasper Ezekiel
This week’s featured article is “The Value of Doing NaNoWriMo by Jasper Ezekiel.” Enjoy!
What many people don’t talk about is that deciding whether or not you want to do NaNoWriMo can be one of the most difficult decisions surrounding this annual happening.
Maybe you want to, but you know you have to keep track of the kids, and your job, plus the holidays begin in November, don’t they?
With all of these factors, let me tell you some of the values of NaNoWriMo so that you have all of the information and can make an informed decision.
The first thing that NaNoWriMo gives someone is a sense of community.
The NaNoWriMo website has many ways in which you can get involved. There are forums where you can talk with other people about the craft.
There’s a way to update your word count every day so that your friends on the website can applaud you on your progress.
There are also ways to find Discord servers through search engines or through the forums on the NaNo website. There are also sometimes local NaNoWriMo meet ups that can be found through meetup.com.
Having others in your community keeping an eye on your word count helps keep you accountable.
I’ve found that sharing my word count also keeps me motivated because I have a competitive streak in me and I always want to come out ahead!
But, on days that I don’t reach my word count, it helps to be able to go through what went wrong with another writer and see how I can do better the next day.
Having a low stakes situation where you are held accountable for finishing a writing goal shows you that finishing projects that you might have thought were impossible were actually quite do-able!
In the same line as accountability, there is an external pressure and motivator to finish your novel during NaNoWriMo.
Even if you decide to forgo all of the opportunities for community that NaNoWriMo provides, one is still aware of the fact that they do not write alone. And that sense of camaraderie with other writers can be an amazing feeling that will help you get your novel done.
Honored Tradition (NaNo History)
NaNoWriMo has an honored tradition.
“National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days. Now, each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with a first draft. They enter the month as elementary school teachers, mechanics, or stay-at-home parents. They leave novelists.
How exciting is that!
NaNoWriMo has been showing people for almost 24 years that anyone can be a novelist.
All they have to do is write a novel.
The spirit of NaNoWriMo is one of empowerment and creative freedom, something that anyone can feel.
All that being said, the fact of the matter is NaNoWriMo is cool.
It has a cool acronym that sounds like a science fiction organization.
The concept is cool: an international, multi-language challenge where people from all walks of life come together with a common goal.
Plus, writing a novel is a cool achievement that not many people can attest to!
Your Turn to Decide
There is great value to doing the NaNoWriMo challenge.
But now it’s your turn to decide.
Given the above factors of building a community, finding accountability for our writing, and honoring a longstanding tradition that shows that anyone can be a novelist if they want to be, and don’t forget the cool factor – I hope you can now make a more informed decision about whether or not to do Nanowrimo this year. Let us know what you decide in the comments below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jasper Ezekiel, a poet and fantasy novelist and an editorial assistant and copywriter for Writer’s Fun Zone. He is queer poet from the Bay Area. In his free time, he does a wide variety of fiber crafts like knitting, crochet, and handspinning. He’s been published in The Berkeley Times, Milvia Street, and Pedestrian Press.
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