NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month for the uninitiated, is about writing 50,000 words of a novel in the thirty days of November. If you are able to do it, you are a winner. That, I think, is the beauty of it – you get to call yourself a winner without beating anyone, except your lazy habits.
But a question often asked from NaNoWriMo participants is why do you do it, if you get nothing out of it. So, I thought I would list down my reasons for doing NaNoWriMo this year, and every year:
A Reason to Write.
Most people are writers by night, while their days are occupied in other jobs that help them earn their livelihood. NaNoWriMo is a lighthouse for such writers guiding them and providing them a reason to write a whole novel in one month. Sometimes life tends to overpower us with its many problems, and it is easy to forget that a part of you wanted to write. NaNoWriMo comes as as annual reminder that there are thousands others like you who are trying to write in spite of their many problems. What is stopping you?
If you want to achieve something in life, you need to set a goal for yourself. If you don’t know where you are going, you will end up somewhere, but not where you wanted to be. Setting a goal is a challenging task because you have to set your goal keeping in mind things like the time available with you, your abilities, the difficulty of the job you are about to undertake, etc. NaNoWriMo provides you with a ready made goal. Though, there is nothing scientific about the goal, yet over the years the goal has proven itself. It is not very hard, and yet only about 20% of the participants achieve it every year.
The First Draft.
Grant Faulkner, Executive Director says, “NaNoWriMo is an unbeatable way to write the first draft of a novel because it’s such a powerful antidote to that horrible foe of creativity: self-doubt.” There is a lot of truth in this statement. Sometimes you start writing, but stop because you feel that your work is not coming along as nicely as you had thought. Well, NaNoWriMo asks you to stop worrying about that, and write your novel. Once you have finished it, you have all the time in the world to edit it and make it better.
A Fun and Engaging community.
People participating in NaNoWriMo are a bunch of vibrant people who are mostly in it for no other reason than the joy of doing it. Over the years (I have been doing it since 2006) I have met a ton of exciting people through the NaNoWriMo communities. If you search for them, there are many such communities on almost all platforms who will welcome you into their fold with open arms. One such community that I am a part of these days is the Facebook NaNoWriMo group. You never have a boring day there.
A Sense of Achievement.
Whatever you do in life, if it doesn’t satisfy you, it is not worth doing. I can assure you that NaNoWriMo is not one of those things. NaNoWriMo will leave you with a great sense of accomplishment once you have completed it. The best part about NaNoWriMo is that you are not doing it to prove anything to others, but to prove something to yourself. Once you have done that, you feel satisfied.
What is your reason for doing NaNoWrimo?