A Nanowrimo Discussion

It's already October folks. 2014 is less than two months away. When you actually think about it, it's crazy. The holidays are almost here. It's that time. Goodies, family, friends, parties, awesome music, and everything good. But with all that, it's also time for something else. Something awesome. Or not. It all depends on your point of view.

NANOWRIMO 

image via Nanowrimo.org
It's Nanowrimo folks. For those of you not aware of NANO, it first and foremost stands for National Novel Writing Month. This annual event held every November is a month dedicated to writing novels.  How you ask? The goal is to write a 50K novel in a month. 30 days. 50K. Sound intimidating?

It can be very intimidating. I have done it and it is possible though. But I'm not here to rant about how you all need to do it because I have and I love it. I'm going to explore the controversy of this event. Because not everyone loves it. It's not for everyone. So today I'm going to run through the Pros and Cons that I have found and talk about why or why not this works. Then I want you to tell me what you think.

PROS

It gets people to start a novel
There are so many wannabe authors who have simply brilliant story ideas and want to go somewhere with them, but in many cases, it just doesn't happen. Nanowrimo's goal is to write a novel (or at least get through a lot of it) and I think that's the appeal to a lot of people.

It gets you excited about writing
This event is all for fun! It's all about spending a month immersed in your imagination and seeing it come to life.

It forces creativity
When you're trying to cram in all the words you can you just have to run with them. Some writers outline their entire novel before they begin. Others, like yours truly, know a few key points about their story, and discover the rest along the way. In this latter case, and both even, there is some amount of the unknown happening. Creativity needs to come or you are toast. Your imagination drives most of it. 

You are writing
With Nano you're spending so much time with your story! You ARE writing! You're going somewhere! There's something so satisfying knowing that every word you wrote in the last hour is a step closer to the end. 

You've accomplished something by the end of the month
Whether or not you actually finish the novel in the month, it's a big step forward, and in conjunction with the previous reason, it's immensely satisfying. Everyone loves rewards and being able to finish something that awesome. For writers, that's one of the coolest feelings ever. 

CONS 
It's crappy writing 
Pretty much. Every first draft sucks, that's a universal truth. And when you're cramming as much as you can into one page? Well then it really sucks. You're not focusing on good strong writing. The universal rule of Nano is to get rid of your internal editor. Farewell sophisticated grammar and all forms of reason. Hello madness. 

You have to let go of things
It all depends on your situation obviously, but there are something that have to go. Maybe it's socializing, maybe it's internet  or movie time. Whatever it is, it can be a downer if you have to give things up.

You're rushed and sometimes panicky
You mean Nanowrimo isn't a calm and collected writing club? Nope! Oftentimes you're in a crazed-living-on-sugar-trying-to-finish-all-the-words kinda mode. It's not relaxed at all. And when you're days behind, lots of panic and frantic discombobulated typing goes on. Speaking from experience here.

You can't write at your own pace
Maybe if you write a ton of rushed words every day, this is your pace. But oftentimes, thoughtful, well placed writing takes time. And as previously mentioned, this is NOT. It is temporary though.

There's an intense obligation/deadline
There is that. You've got 30 days. Seems like cake in October. On November 29th, it's not.

You're a tired barely functioning writing beast by the end of the month
This is probably an accurate description of most Wrimo's. Caffenine and sugar is your friend. Also late nights, cryptic voice in your head, aching fingers, and basically anything that can drive you insane. Sound fun yet?

Conclusion
Nanowrimo is good and bad. For some writers it's JUST the thing to get them writing and having a blast doing it. For others it would completetly mess everything up about the way they write. So is it for you? This is where you decide! Think it might work? By all means give it a test drive! Think it won't be good for you? I promise you aren't gonna be shunned for not participating. For myself, I find that Nanowrimo works, and so I do it. I'm super excited about this year, and hope that I was able to shed some light on what the heck it is!

There's tons more about Nano that I could tell you, but this post is long enough as it is, so I'm going to leave you to go find out more by yourself. Nanowrimo has a rocking site that you can check out.

With that, I'm done. Now it's your turn. I want to hear your thoughts on Nanowrimo. Love it? Why? Agree with my reasons? Do you think Nanowrimo is the dumbest thing ever? Why? Talk to me peeps!

Till Next Time,
Hawster.

3 comments:

  1. I agree on both the pros and cons! I did Nano for the first time in November 2012 and I failed miserably! I started 8 days late, though. I plan to try again with lots more preperation and planning under my belt:) I like NaNo because even if you don't get the full 50K you are still a lot closer to the end than you were before! I can't wait for November!

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  2. I adore NaNo! It's hard for me though because I don't have a laptop and I don't write on my home computer as someone's always on it. So writing by hand or on my phone...not ideal. I've never got 50,000. Usually only 20,000. But that's still quite a chunk! I absolutely love it though. This year should be interesting. I'm MUCH busier than the last two years...we shall see.

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