It's October, and NaNoWriMo is fast approaching.
For those of you who have not yet been immersed into the NaNo culture and may never have heard this term before: NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It's a free writing event that takes place over on nanowrimo.org to encourage people to write. The goal is to write 50,000 words in a brand new story...all in one month. It's like no-shave November, but far more creative and infinitely cooler.
Why, you ask? Well, for one, you're cranking out an entire novel in 30 short days. If that's not epic I don't know what is. Along with that, there's writer goodies-- workbooks, pep talks, articles, world crawls, word sprint tools, regional groups you could get involved in, and a ton of sponsor offers for winners and even for participants. Like, awesome sponsor offers-- from 50% off Scrivener, Dabble and more, to space on Dropbox, a free class with CreativeLive, free novel help with IngramSpark, AutoCrit memberships, writing courses, FocusMe subscriptions for free during NaNoWriMo with a percentage off deal after, Fictionary subscriptions, deals with Storyist, StoryPlanner, Scribophile, a chance to submit with various publishing companies, and more. The sponsor offers change by year, but they're always super great.
If you're under 18 and you want to do it, there is a Young Writers website as well, with the option of choosing your own word count to fit your age. Or, if you are a teacher or a mom, you can get on Young Writers NaNoWriMo and create your own classroom-- complete with a teacher account and lots of goodies to help you in the creative process. Do I hear epic homeschool/creative class project? I think so!
If you're still needing some convincing, here are 5 good reasons why NaNoWriMo might be something you might want to consider. ;)
1. NaNo opens up a world of creativity you might not have realized you had. For those of us who have been telling stories from the womb, it's a chance to challenge ourselves to sit down and work hard on something. For others who may be interested but hesitant, this could be the push you need. And for the newbies in the writing world, NaNoWriMo is a completely encouraging, non-judgmental environment that will propel you forward towards your dreams. Even if you don't think you're good at creative writing at all, taking a month to try things out might prove to show a side of you that you didn't realize existed!
2. It's a good push for those who like writing but just sit around thinking about it instead of doing something. With people all over the world joining in, NaNoWriMo is a great way to jump into the world of writing. You've got a challenge, a goal, and a huge support system. Not only do you get those awesome winner goodies for hitting your goal at the end of the month, (and even participation deals), but you can also buy swag, win virtual badges, get all kinds of motivational pep talks, participate in sprints, word wars, word crawls, the super-busy forums on their website, and more. It's a huge boost of motivation, and it's got a great amount of excitement along the way.
3. It's a good way to let loose and be a little crazy... Did I mention that NaNo is tons of fun? Of course the goal is pretty epic, and of course you need to have a lot of determination to get through the month while writing all those words. But NaNoWriMo is also insanely enjoyable. You can join up with other writers (like me, lol), share your progress, give sneak peeks of your novel, have an excellent excuse to drink lots of coffee, and lose yourself in a world all your own. Novembers are some of the best months of my life, and I'm convinced that if you have a passion for writing or even a slight interest you'll find that it is a great chance to delve fully into the world of writing.
4. You can learn a lot during the process about yourself and life in general if you pay attention. :) So you can have fun AND learn? YES! If you read the pep talks, pay attention to any critiques from your writer friend, and look out for your own writing tendencies, you can really learn a lot through the process. I have learned more in NaNoWriMo then I can ever say. My first NaNo was when I was 15 and that book is crazy bad. But it's also one of the best experiences I've had, and I gained so much from writing it that November that I still keep in mind today. Other NaNoWriMo years taught me various other lessons-- pacing, planning, characterization, and more.
5. If have a story that you would like to tell, NaNo helps you get started with it. Or, you may realize through NaNoWriMo that you have a story you should tell that you never even knew about. :D Maybe you're still hesitant. "I'm not a writer, that's crazy!" you say. Well, I suggest you give it a go--even just one time. You can even set a personal lower goal for yourself if you want, instead of shooting for the set-in-stone 50k. The point is to focus on writing for a month, because you never know what might turn up. I think most people have a story in them. Is it going to be the popular genre? Probably not. Mine aren't. But whether it is or isn't, stories are important. Even if you decide to bend the rules of NaNoWriMo and write 30k on a memoir, it's still an amazing feat. So write an epic poem. Write a vintage style mystery. Write a literary political novel. The point I'm trying to make is--be you. It doesn't matter if you're not the typical fiction writer who adheres to the "rules of writing" (those are made to be broken anyways). NaNoWriMo is there to get you writing, to tell the story that's important to you--so even if you think you're not a writer, you might just end up being super glad you joined. ;)
If you're interested, you can do it with me. Not only are you able to connect with me and other friends on NaNoWriMo's website (if you look Victoria Minks up in the search bar, you'll find me!), but we are also doing epic stuff for NaNoWriMo here at Fearless Type. You can hop on the NaNo threads in the community, join us on Twitter for word sprints and challenges, tune into our live Instagram videos, follow our Insta stories for dares, polls, tips, tricks and more, and even participate in our NaNo-prep month, where we'll delve into a lot of nitty gritty to make this your best November yet. So don't forget to connect, and let's do this thing together!