For those who don’t know, November is National Novel Writing Month (known to most as NaNoWriMo). It’s a worldwide event that takes place every November and challenges writers to write 50,000 words in thirty days. Those who reach the 50,000-word mark “win” the challenge and receive prizes—one year was a 50% off discount for a writing software called Scrivener. The word count goal may seem daunting, but participating in NaNoWriMo can actually be pivotal in your career as a writer and help you significantly. Here are some reasons to participate in NaNoWriMo in November 2020.
It establishes a writing routine.
To reach the 50,000-word count goal, you need to find (and stick to) a consistent writing routine. On average, you’ll need to write 1,667 words a day to reach the goal in thirty days, so this will leave you no choice but to move past writer’s block and find the motivation to get at least some words down on a daily basis. These roadblocks don’t last only during NaNoWriMo, so by pushing yourself past them over the course of this challenge, you can do so no matter what you write.
It finishes your first draft.
For novelists, sometimes the most challenging aspect of writing is finishing the first draft of your story. The average length of a novel is about 75,000 words, so by participating in NaNoWriMo, you’ll successfully have two-thirds of your first draft written in the span of a month. A little extra work in December will push you to your completed draft, and then you can start the editing process.
It fights procrastination and writer’s block.
As mentioned earlier, 50,000 written words is a daunting task to have ahead of you. Such a large number can make doing something else more appealing than sitting down and getting your work done, but to “win” NaNoWriMo, you need to push yourself past those distractions and write. No social media, no texting, no excessive research, and no Buzzfeed quizzes: NaNoWriMo encourages you to push past procrastination and continue forward. This also helps with that pesky writer’s block, because that’s just one more hurdle you need to overcome if you want to finish this challenge on time. There’s no room for it when you have a novel to write.
It pushes you to write, not edit.
An unfortunate habit of many writers is to edit your draft while you write, when the reality is that editing what you put into your first draft before it’s even done is a waste of time. The chance of that scene staying the same in the final draft is low, and you’ll only end up slowing yourself down if you do so while you write. To reach 50,000 words, you can’t edit—just write!