NaNoWriMo Day 15 – Why Bother?

Whenever I tell anyone about NaNoWriMo, these are the most common responses I get:

“If there’s more than one winner, why do you do it?”

“Why can’t you just write it without the website?”

“Technically, any of those people could type “a a a a a” and enter their novel to win.”

“If no one is going to read it, why do you even bother?”

Many of the responses are leaning towards the negative side of things, and maybe that’s because people are unsure of what NaNoWriMo actually is and what it actually means for writers. It is free to do, so it’s not like they’re ripping me off or anything. But, why bother?

Let me tell you why I bother.

I participate in National Novel Writing Month because it encourages everyone to write – not just writers. It gives people all over the world an opportunity to connect over something so compelling and personal, as writing often is. NaNoWriMo is about encouraging writers to write that novel that they have kicking around in the back of their mind but haven’t written yet, but it also encourages those who do not write to give it a try.

I participate in NaNoWriMo because it is a great community, and I’ve met many people from around the world who share the same loves that I have. It’s a wonderful way to connect with like-minded individuals over the common ground of writing. I love visiting the forums because most everyone is there for the same reasons, and that makes for a great atmosphere.

I participate in NaNoWriMo because it means so much more than writing for me. There is an insurmountable sense of achievement if you can write the 50,000 words in a month…and an even better feeling if they are not all compete garbage when you edit in December. More than this, though, it’s great to meet other people who you can rely on for an honest opinion throughout the month. Most of my friends probably wouldn’t read any of my writing unless I got published. I know, though, that I can offer a piece of writing, or an idea, to nearly anyone I’ve met through NaNo and they will give me an honest opinion and help me to develop an idea, or just be interested in hearing what I’m writing about.

I participate in NaNoWriMo because it encourages me to write in a way I don’t normally do. I leave the editing aside and just sit down and write. Without the 50,000 word deadline I would take my time and re-word things, often going back to edit. The deadline, though, forces a writer to forget all of that and just write their novel. It comes out so fast sometimes, you don’t even realize how much you’ve actually written until you stop and take a break. It also encourages creativity, as you sometimes have to think quick to figure out what is going to happen next, and I find my best works are my NaNoWriMo novels.

The Office Of Letters And Light – the non-profit organization that runs NaNoWriMo, ScriptFrenzy and Camp NaNoWriMo – do a lot for writers around the world, as well. They run young writers programs and they even provide writing materials to schools, children and people in places where they can’t afford it. It is such a wonderful program, and I participate in NaNoWriMo to be a part of it. This is why I try to donate a little bit every year to NaNoWriMo because the amazing website is free and it fuels 30 days of fun for myself and hundreds of thousands of other writers around the world.

This is why NaNoWriMo is about more than just writing. It’s about building a community of friends and writers around the world, and providing writers of all ages a safe, inspiring, educational and entertaining place to hang out for November. There’s a kind of magic you feel when you realize you are one of 300,000 other writers around the world attempting this crazy challenge.

On top of that, if you win, you get bragging rights to say you wrote a novel in a month. I am proud of having accomplished this six times – the first when I was 13 years old. Also when you win, you get access to really cool web badges and a downloadable winner’s certificate. Yes, these are what I’ve been shamelessly showing off this whole post.

This – all of what I’ve said – is what NaNoWriMo means to me, and that is why I bother.

Thanks for reading!

Till Next,

-Will

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Categories: Life, Nanowrimo, Writing | Tags: | 32 Comments

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32 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Day 15 – Why Bother?

  1. Ouch to that last comment!

    And ditto to everything you’ve said on why we NaNo. NaNo is a month of pure awesome, for everyone that’s involved. It’s also the community like you said, one which is hard to find outside of NaNo on your own.

    Cheers! And good luck on the rest of the month!

    • haha Thanks! I just got tired of people being so cynical about it! “You don’t even win anything!” “Anyone can ‘win’!” It just got annoying haha because I don’t think they really understand. Maybe that’s just me being overly defensive… 😉
      Thanks for the comment and thanks for reading! Good luck to you too!

      • Overly defensive to comments like that? Heck no! If anything, I think you’re being overly polite by explaining it to them! 🙂

        Seriously though, us writers are usually so self-critical as it is we have absolutely no need for useless criticism from people who haven’t even read what we’ve written. Constructive criticism is another thing, but it sounds like that’s not what you’re getting. So go for it; ignore those people and accomplish your dreams. 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂 I do know lots of people who support me…but some are just kind of ignorant! Even some of my family didn’t get it…they thought it was a contest but it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about writing! haha Whatever, though, I’m not bitter about it….. 😉

  2. People who don’t write or aren’t writers don’t understand why writers write. It’s because we WANT TO WRITE. Simple as that. Writers write books. Musicians make music. It’s for the love of it, and not anything else.

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  5. stine1

    Thanks for sharing this encouraging post and for linking to my blog. Good luck!

  6. I do Nanowrimo every year because–even though I write every day–this is the only time when I am disciplined enough to do a truly quick and dirty first draft without having my inner critic sabotage my efforts. And I love having something to keep me focused on something other than how damned dark it is in Stockholm in November.

    • Exactly! I 100% agree. It’s kind of, shall we say, liberating for an author! 🙂 how many of the hours in the day are dark? Here in Sask I still get from around 8:00 am until about 5:00 pm so it’s not bad at all haha

      • Sorry! I only just saw your reply…I blame it on emerging form my Nanowrimo fog and then launching into endless Christmas parties. 🙂 From around mid-October to January, we have light around 9AM until 2:30-3PM. We had a rainy autumn so it felt like it was darker than it actually was. The cloud cover was so heavy we hardly ever saw any natural light. Makes for long, depressing days. Thank God for Nanowrimo! 😀

    • Thank God, indeed! Those are some short days! I’m all excited because it was the shortest ‘day’ of the year on the 21st, so my days will just keep getting longer from here! 🙂 No need to apologize, either. A late reply is still a reply haha 🙂

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  8. It’s a challenge for yourself! Anything that challenges us is a good thing! And you have a finished product you can look back on and think, “Hey, I finished something!” A lot of people I know never finish the projects they start, so actually completing something can be a great confidence booster. 🙂

    • I’m one of those people who for every project complete, I have ten not complete. NaNo allows me the chance to actually complete projects, and also boost my creativity and help me immerse myself in the story! Thanks for reading!

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