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Is National Novel Writing Month Worth It?

I’m the first person to bash National Novel Writing Month. November is a stupid time of year to waste a stupid amount of time stressing out over a stupid manuscript.

I mean, writing 50,000 words in a single month? And a holiday month at that? I could do that when my job consisted of sitting in my chair doing nothing but eat bonbons all day.

(True story. Except for the bonbons.)

But now that I’m running my own business? The word stupid is once again flashing through my brain.

It should be flashing through your brain too if you work just an average old nine to five. And/or have a significant other. And/or have children. And/or have a life.

This probably includes having pets.

Maybe not cats. But definitely dogs. You might be able to still have a goldfish and still survive NaNoWriMo. Perhaps…

But moving on.

National Novel Writing Month is the very epitome of chaotic. But I’m still going to do it this year. And you might want to as well. Here’s why:

  1. It’s motivation to actually start the story that’s been burning a hole into your brain. You know very well that, any other month, you would find dozens of excuses to not start your story, even if it’s just that you want to watch a new show. The craziness of NaNoWriMo shoves all those unnecessary excuses (and admittedly some of the necessary ones too) into the garbage can and says, “Too bad! Write anyway!”

  2. It’s motivation to keep working on that story that’s been burning a hole into your brain. Again, excuses are far too easy to come by. When you sign on for NaNoWriMo though, those excuses fall away in favor of absolute fanatic commitment to the cause of novel writing.

  3. It’s motivation to finish working on that story that’s been burning a hole into your brain. So you don’t get your full 50,000 words down in November. You only get 30,000 or 20,000. But that’s still pages and pages and pages written, prompting you to keep writing right up until “The End” when you’ve already come so far.

  4. It’s an opportunity to get together with fellow writers for further encouragement. NaNoWriMo only comes once a year, clearly. But it can build up writing relationships that can last all year long. Go looking for a National Novel Writing Month group to encourage you during the not-nearly-long-enough 30-day stretch. You might find your new best writing friend in the process – one who can hold your hand when you’re sobbing over writer’s block, who can tell you to slow down and breathe when you get a little too into your story (outside of NaNoWriMo, of course), and who can act as your beta reader after you’ve edited the whole kit and caboodle a few times.

Admittedly, none of those reasons are why I’m doing it next month, which means there’s a fifth reason.

General insanity.


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