National Novel Writing Month begins Friday.
I encounter every October asking, should I shoot for NaNoWriMo this year? One year, I dove in headfirst. I sketched characters, made a poster, and fantasized the novel’s ending. Then I realized my plot idea was really terrible and trashed it.
But NaNoWriMo is an opportunity worth discussing. You can write a novel any time of the year, or you can write 50,000 words, cram them in a month, and join a community of fellow novelists. If you’re insanely busy like me, but have always wanted to compare the pros and cons, here are a bunch listed below.
PRO: You unleash some amazing creativity.
When put under a month-long time restraint, you’re pumping out those words like a mad person. You don’t have time to edit as you go. You merely write, letting the story flow from you, and that’s magic.
PRO: You actually write. Ha.
We call ourselves writers but then sit in front of a blank Word document while scrolling through Instagram or watching YouTube. NaNoWriMo forces you to write.
CON: You don’t end up with a final draft.
When November 30 rolls around, you won’t be looking at a publish-worthy manuscript. It’s going to need a lot of work. Are you willing to open that door of a whole new project?
CON: What you write may not be a bestseller.
When in the midst of writing, everything you create is genius. And there are instances where it truly is genius—just look at Marrissa Meyer’s Cinder or Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, both of which started as NaNoWriMo drafts. But often time brings out the flaws in a piece, and your manuscript may not be suitable for the Big Five Publishers.
PRO: It’s fun to record your journey.
Whether you’ll journal every step of the process or update your followers through Instagram Live, your adventure through NaNoWriMo will inspire yourself and others.
PRO: You get to say you did it.
Having never completed it myself, I don’t know the euphoria of this feeling. But I figure it’s pretty fantastic.
CON: It’s stressful and time-consuming.
This is what holds me back. Few people have the time to sit down and dedicate hours upon hours to 50k words. If this is something you want to do, realize you’ll have to make time. Are you willing to make sacrifices for this adventure?
I know I have a tale of adventure, romance, and tragedy bursting in my mind, waiting to be told. Will you take the leap? If so, check in and join the party.