FacebookPixel NoScript


NanoWriMo is coming up!

Do you know what that is? If you don’t, don’t feel bad. The vast majority of writers in my Facebook group, Give Birth to Your Book, didn’t either when I asked them.

But this is one of the best opportunities for writers to jump start their creativity, so let’s talk about what it is and why you should consider participating this year.

What Is NanoWriMo

First things first. What is NaNoWriMo?

The title might seem like something written in a foreign language, but it’s shorthand for four English words: National Novel Writing Month. It takes place every November.

NaNoWriMo is an annual “competition” in which writers attempt to write 50k words over the course of the month. To register for it, you sign up on the NaNoWriMo website.

Anyone who writes 50k words between November 1 and November 30  and logs them on the official website gets a certificate, and many writers’ services donate prizes to winners, but it’s mostly about demonstrating to yourself that you can write every day.

FUN FACT: I began the first draft of Reinventing Hannah during NaNoWriMo 2018.

There are a ton of good reasons to consider NaNoWriMo, but first I want to be clear on what NaNoWriMo is NOT.NO NaNoWriMo is NOT these things

  1. NaNoWriMo is NOT an opportunity for you to completely finish your novel. Sometimes writers get caught up in the excitement of writing every day, hit that 50k mark for the first time in their lives and think they’re finished! But that goal is just the beginning. Writing a book that people want to read often requires work beyond just getting the first draft down. NaNoWriMo should be about your discovery draft: learning who your characters are and what their story is going to be about.
  2. NaNoWriMo is NOT just for novelists. Yes, the event title includes the word “novel”,  but you don’t HAVE to write a novel to participate. Nonfiction writers can hit research and word count goals too, and if you want to write a collection of stories or poems, go for it!
  3. NaNoWriMo is NOT a prestigious competition. Although you get a certificate at the end and may be eligible for certain prizes, “winning” is more about achieving your personal goals than anything else. You likely won’t impress readers by announcing your book is a NaNoWriMo winner.
  4. NaNoWriMo is NOT about winning. Technically, you only win if you hit 50k words over the course of the month. But while you might miss out on a certificate or some prizes, in my opinion you’re still a winner if you’ve developed a writing habit throughout the month even if you fall short of the 50k goal. In 2019, I wrote only 36k words during NaNoWriMo, but it helped me write the first draft of a project that I will be developing further after I finish editing Heart Failure.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at the top 7 reasons that you should consider participating in NaNoWriMo this year.

NanoWriMo Jumpstart

It can help you jumpstart a project.

If you’ve been procrastinating about starting that book or wandered off somewhere in the middle of a project you intended to finish, participating in NaNoWriMo can help you get moving in the right direction.

This event is about pure creation, so you don’t have to worry about making it perfect and can just focus on getting words on the page.
NaNoWriMo good writing habits

It gets you in the habit of writing regularly.

When I did NaNoWriMo in 2018, it forced me to throw my belief that there wasn’t enough time to write out the window.

I was interning three days a week and going to social work classes the other two, and I wouldn’t make 50k words if I only wrote on weekends, plus I needed to do homework for my classes, write my reviews for TV Fanatic, and take care of living tasks (like my laundry)!  So I had to figure out some time I could devote to writing so that I’d have a chance of hitting my goal.

I ended up waking up an hour earlier so I’d have time to write before work in the morning. Sometimes I would write during breaks or down time at my internship too. I ended up hitting 50k a few days early, and then kept going. By the end of December, I not only had my writing routine down pat, but had a complete draft I could start revising.

NanowriMo Great prizes

There are some really cool prizes.

NaNoWriMo isn’t really about the prizes as much as it is about getting your project started. That’s why a lot of the companies that donate to NaNoWriMo offer prizes just for participating (though you can get even better prizes if you hit that 50k mark during the month!)

Most of the prizes involve discounts on various writing related softwares or services.

As you know, I love using Plottr for story mapping, so I’m thrilled that one of the prizes for 2021 is a discount of 15% off the software just for participating. (Winners get 30% off.)

It’s a great way to connect with other writers.

NaNoWriMo offers local and regional events where participants can get together virtually or in person to work on their NaNoWriMo projects.

This allows you to connect with writers in your area — something which is invaluable since writing can be such a solitary activity.

Connecting with other writers means fun and friendship as well as accountability. NaNoWriMo lists official events on its website and participants can create their own events if they don’t see anything to their liking among available offerings.

NaNoWriMo Accountability

It keeps you accountable.

The NaNoWriMo website has tools built into it to help you track your progress.

You can update your word count daily and watch your total climb toward your goal. The site also tracks your average daily word count, tells you how many words you still need, and estimates when you’ll reach your goal based on how much you’ve done so far.

This all helps keep you accountable so that you actually get your project done.

NaNoWriMo Inspiration

There’s tons of inspiration on the site.

The NaNoWriMo site offers you inspiration for times that you feel stuck or down on yourself.

There’s a pep talk area where you can read encouraging posts from past participants and forums where you can share your frustration and get encouragement from other writers.

NanoWriMo - Confidence

It can help build your confidence as a writer.

Building those daily habits, connecting with other writers, and seeing your progress can help build confidence that you actually CAN do this writing thing!

The more you participate, the more confident you’ll feel.

And if you hit that 50K mark that’ll solidify it for you, especially if you’ve never written a word before.

So what do you think? Are you going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year? Hit the comments below and let me know!

Struggling with writers’ block? Get ahead of it before NaNoWriMo by downloading my free guide to SMASHING through those obstacles so that you can get your book finished!

About Writing Coach Jack Ori

About Writing Coach Jack Ori

Jack Ori helps aspiring authors finish writing the books only they can write and get them out in the world. He is also a young adult and women's fiction author; his second novel , Heart Failure, will be released in December 2021.

If you would like more support with your own writing projects, join Jack's free writing community on Facebook, Give Birth to That Book!

Find this helpful? Share it with someone else who could use it too!

Like this:

Like Loading...