The Beauty of NaNoWriMo

If you've no idea what NaNoWriMo is, let me explain it to you. It stands for National Novel Writing Month it is a brutal task.

When you sign up for NaNoWriMo (which is a beast to type, too), you're signing your time, soul, hands, and mental stability away. Because you're signing up to write a book. You have thirty days to do it, and you must reach 50,000 words. Luckily, you're not alone. Thousands of people participate, and only a fraction of them win. The community though, is what's important.

I'm NaNo-pro and I'm going to explain to you why.

1. NaNoWriMo is fun.

If you count writing a novel as fun. It really does depend on who you are. Me, in particular, am not liking the revising phase. I hate revise. It seems like an untamable beast and it never ends and it will never stop and it keeps going. But NaNo has an ending. It's a competition. You're trying to beat this seemingly unattainable goal and that, in-and-of-itself, is the best part.

It's a competition and by-god, I wanna win it.

2. I'd never written a novel before.

Yup! Never wrote a novel until NaNo came about. I'd written about 30,000 words, but that was it! That was all! I couldn't push past this certain point, and the pressure of NaNo sent me over that edge and I fell off a cliff and two weeks later I think I'm still dead.

3. You don't have to worry about editing.

It's a stream-of-consciousness type of writing and that just can't be beat. After a while, your complex will calm down and you'll get used to skipping over small little spelling mistakes while in the middle of a word sprint (which can totally save the day, trust me).

4. It hurts.

Writing a novel is painful. You probably have never felt anything similar to it if you haven't written one. But the thing about writers is that they can push past that turmoil and keep going and then they finish and the pain ends. Otherwise, we're just left with this crippling guilt over the characters to whom we've become attached (yes! even the baddies!). The thing about writers is that we like that pain and we like pushing our limits and taking risks with our characters and plots and endings. And when you're in that writing zone, the risks with your characters and plots and endings will come naturally and flow from hands and the things that you thought were going to be terrible become the best parts of your story.

5. It's an excuse to be delusional.

You can write an entire page and a half about squirrel poop and it counts as your novel. 'Nuff said.

So if NaNo for you? If you've written a billion, trillionjsdfakjfkdjf;kljdfkljsdfkj number of novels, then maybe not. You might still get a kick out of the pressure, and you might get some insight from the community, though.

If you haven't written a novel and you want to, try NaNo. Because you'll find that, if you want it enough, you'll suddenly have enough time and a surprising lack of excuses.

So, can you write a novel in 30 days? Absolutely.

But let me tell you this before you get into it next November. You're novel might not be good. But it's salvageable. Never forget that your novel is salvageable. Don't chuck it away. It's a stroke of genius, but the genius might just need a little polishing. Rome wasn't built in a day (also, in NaNo, you can use as many cliches as you want! and adverbs!).

- Havityia