You see that? That’s a quote I just wrote for NaNoWriMo! See! It does pay off! 😀
Alright, I know, I know. 50k words in 30 days…oof
(Wait, what the fudge is NaNoWriMo, you ask?)
For those that don’t know, NaNoWriMo is a challenge for the entire month of November to crank out 50k words. That’s about it.
Alright, now that that is cleared up, I am here to tell you that it’s actually a fantastic idea. My book No Reflections is something that has been outlined for a while, with maybe a scene or two written, but I had yet to actually start it.
This is where NaNoWriMo kicks in. If you are an aspiring author who wants to attempt at writing as a career, even just part-time, then practicing writing 50k words in a month is actually an important thing to do.
Essentially NaNoWriMo is not about writing a perfect novel in 30 days. It’s about getting your story on paper. It’s about giving some flesh to those characters. Even if you use none of the 50k words that you wrote in 30 days, the exercise alone furthered you in your writing process.
It’s like doing a painting. For oils, you have to do it in layers. Writing is synonymous to that.
But Charlotte! I just want to paint the damned nose! (Or write the kick-ass scene I know everyone will love!)
Well, slow down there, Johnny! You still need the background, the colors, the generic shape of the face, and the details of the rest of the face as well. I am sure you can follow the analogy to writing here.
Sure, you want to write that amazing, fantastic scene that you have in your head (similar to painting that beautiful nose). But you still need a story to attach it to. To keep the analogy going, you still need a body to paint before that nose is even considered a thing. Writing 50k words in 30 days is a way of vomiting those ideas onto a page just to get it out of your system. No one said it had to be pretty.
Because in truth, your novel is never going to get written, unless you start writing it. Let it suck in its first draft. That’s fine! You can’t write a final draft, however, until you have that first draft written.
That’s the whole point to NaNoWriMo.
“But Charlotte! I didn’t plan at all for this!”
It’s all cool! Don’t stress if you can’t join this month. Find a month, or even a span of a few months (heck, even a year!) and set a goal of 50k words.
Sometimes to write a story, you just have to get to writing. This is also like dating. You have to date the terrible ones to find the right one. For writing, you have to write ugly first drafts to even dream of that final one. So start swiping right to those ideas of yours!
How else will you know what works and what doesn’t?
So here are the 5 reasons laid out in bullet-point fashion in case you scrolled down just to find these:
5 Reasons Why NaNoWriMo is Awesome:
- It gets your creative juices flowing, even if they are terrible. They don’t help you much when they are stagnant.
- You get familiarized with your world. You learn what you like, and what you don’t like.
- On the off chance that what you write is actually good, then hey! You got 50k words written!
- You’re bound to at least get a few usable paragraphs for your final draft. Essentially, something will come out of it.
- You get your novel started, which sometimes is the hardest part.
In the end, when it comes to starting a novel, sometimes you just have to start. And NaNoWriteMo is the perfect excuse to.