5 Reasons I love NaNoWriMo.

With NaNoWriMo a couple of days away I have been focusing on the novel I plan to write in November. I could, and perhaps should, be editing Portal Wars: Empire Corrupted but I want to join in the Nano excitement of joining people from all over the world to write a novel in a month.

1. Accountability.

When completing NaNoWriMo, you are encouraged to input your running word count into the website. The software embedded in the website works out how many words you need to write in order to ‘win’ NaNoWriMo. In order to ‘win’ you need to write 1667 words every single day in November. Do this and at the end of the month you will have 50,000 words of a novel written down.
The website draws a graph of your progress and has a progress bar that needs to turn green every day.

I love seeing the line turn green.

2. Support and encouragement.

For someone not used to regularly writing, completing nearly 2000 words a day can be difficult. It does get easier to some extent as the month progresses but still requires a sizable commitment of time every day. I remember last year having days when I didn’t want to write, all I wanted to do was to curl up in bed and sleep. On these days I would check in with the local group on Facebook, or read a blog post on the NaNoWriMo page and be inspired to write just a little bit, cheered on and encouraged by other writers.

Last year I enjoyed taking part in Word Wars in my local group’s chat room, and this year I intend to do the same again. This year I might look in on the many people using Twitter to track the Nanowrimo progress. Have a look at #NaNoWriMo2014 for word wars, blogs about writing and general encouragement from other NaNoWriMo people.

3. Talking about Writing.

Although my path to becoming a writer started long ago last year was the first time I actually sat down and properly wrote. Not only did consistently write and get my story out onto paper, I started to tell people that I was writing. Hesitantly at first but as my word count grew so did my confidence. Soon I discovered other writers who would talk about writing and share what they had learnt. I have learnt so much about the craft of writing in the last year, valuable advice about how to keep going through a first draft, or how to plot a storyline.
This week I went to the kickoff meeting for my local Nano group. It was amazing to talk with real people about writing. I know there are other writing groups local to me, and will make the effort to go along to their events.

4. Community.

Being one of hundreds and thousands of people trying to write a first draft in a month is a special feeling. All over the world people are trying to write 50000 words in 30 days. They are all going through the same trials and tribulations. All having the same sense of exhaustion and exhilaration, all heading towards the same goal.
As we approach the beginning of November I can feel myself getting excited about the story I will be writing. I’m not as prepared as I would like to have been but I will try my best to produce a coherent first draft and finish the story from start to finish. I see this excitement in the things people post online and in different communities. There seems to be a special energy about this month and I hope to tap into it to write my next story.

5. Free Stuff.

I like free stuff, lets face it who doesn’t. My path to winning NaNoWriMo2013 wasn’t easy. At one point I didn’t think I would make it and had to pull several days of 3000 words, just to make up. I ended up on the last day trying to get over 2000 words down. These were some of the most painful words I have written, I was so close to finishing and yet so far. Every word needed to be forced out of my brain, literally like getting blood out of a stone.

Through this one thing sustained me. I wanted Scrivener. But I didn’t want to pay full price for it. (Although it is still reasonably priced who wants to pay full price when a half price deal is a handful of words away.) The thought of Scrivener half price and the other offers that various companies offer Nanowrimo winners spurred me on through that night. When I finally finished at 10pm on 30th November 2013 I was a happy woman.

I bought Scrivener several days later and my writing hasn’t looked back. I now use Scrivener for everything, (except invoices for Husband) and haven’t looked back. This year I hope to be in the position to make use of more Nanowrimo offers but only if I properly finish the first draft of my new novel.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?
Are you feeling confident or nervous like me?