I have a love-hate relationship with NaNoWriMo. For those of you who are yet to discover it, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Taking place during November every year, participants are encouraged to aim for a total of 50,000 written words during the period. Broken down into 30 days, this means achieving at least 1,667 words per day. The idea being that, by the end, you will have a rough edit and a possible start to that book that you have always wanted to write. Sounds simple – or does it?
My NaNoWriMo Experience
I began Nano many years ago when I kept hearing the buzz about it on social media. At the time, I had an idea for a book and I simply thought – why not give it a go.? After all, what did I have to lose? The answer – 30 days of my life throughout the month of November! I have no desire to discredit what the creators of Nano are trying to achieve, as if it gets people writing I’m all for that. However, though it has taken me a few years to realise it, Nano isn’t always the best option for many of us.
The Advantages of Nano
If you struggle to hit a word count each day, or even if you struggle to implement a routine of writing into your daily life, Nano can perhaps be the surge of inspiration that you have been looking for. If you can clear your calendar and dedicate a month to trying a new writing routine, you could discover many new aspects to your own writing style.
Better still, if you have a project already planned, and you know you can derive the necessary amount of work from it to fill 50,000 words minimum, then what a better way to begin it than Nano. With an online community readily available and a progressive chart to fill in with your combined written total, you may just find this all the encouragement you need to write!
Disadvantages of Nano
If you like to edit your work as you go along, Nano is not the place to do this! The whole point is to write, write, write – no editing in sight. For the spelling and grammar conscious amongst us this can push you to the very limit, especially with a multitude of red squiggly lines screaming at you each time you open your Word document!
Rather than read my thoughts on it, why not try it yourself? Better still, commit to a different month other than November, where the pressure is off, and build up a daily writing routine. Who knows, by the time Nano does come back around, you’ll be more than ready to tackle it head on, if you wish to!