Well, here it is November again and once more the National Novel Writing Month has started.
Is this the year you’re finally willing to commit and get that novel written? If you need a bit of inspiration in deciding to participate in NaNoWriMo challenge, read on. We’re about to give you several good reasons why you should go through with it.
Is this the year you’re finally willing to commit and get that novel written? If you need a bit of inspiration in deciding to participate in this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge, read on. We’re about to give you several good reasons why you should go through with it.
Benefits in Taking the NaNoWriMo Challenge
First and foremost, you’ll get that novel written! Can you imagine how great that’s going to feel? And while it may not exactly be a polished product when you stop writing at midnight November 30, you’ll actually have a first draft on file, in black and white. And that’s a fantastic first step to take towards being published, and certainly one that should be celebrated.
You’ll develop the keystone habit of writing daily. If you’re going to make it through the NaNoWriMo challenge all the way to the 50,000 word mark, you’re going to do a lot of writing. And you’ll have to do it pretty much every day: 1,666.6 words a day to be exact. Or, if you want weekends off, 2,330 words five days a week for four weeks.
Developing the habit of writing daily is a building block for productivity, organization and the effective use of time.
“Your writing ability is a bit like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it’ll become.” And when you have strong writing muscles to flex, you’ll be able to produce a steady stream of work with greater ease. And producing a consistent flow of work also improves the quality of your writing.
You’ll benefit from the development of mental toughness. There’s a tipping point in the process of changing habits or developing new routines when you’ve pushed through the initial resistance and emerged on the other side. The worst of the struggle is over, and the longer you pursue the new path, the stronger you become.
At that point, you can clearly see the benefits of discipline. Your focused resolve will weaken the pull of temptation and distractions, which makes room for behaviors designed for success. Discipline generates higher calibration emotions such as appreciation, strength and empowerment and is well worth the effort to cultivate.
And, the mental toughness developed in hitting your daily word count will naturally spill over into other areas. Organizational skills, prioritization, planning and scheduling will all benefit as your performance in these areas will be lifted to meet your new gold standard.
But, writing daily isn’t just about productivity. It keeps you in touch with your natural flow of creativity, and you’ll be able to enter the creative flow more often and with less effort. This, of course, is essential in developing new ideas and maintaining inspiration.
Daily writing also develops communication skills, and helps to strengthen conceptual networks. And, “The practice of writing can enhance the brain’s intake, processing, retaining, and retrieving of information.” In other words, it keeps us mentally sharp.
The NaNoWriMo Challenge also highlights the importance of a deadline. When you accept a deadline, you also accept the responsibility of meeting it. And, when you meet the deadline of the 30 day Challenge, it not only boosts your overall work ethic, it also builds trust in yourself. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days will definitely push you out of any comfort zone, with greater confidence and self-esteem being part of the beneficial results.
A deadline helps to make us accountable and gives planning, scheduling time, and prioritizing work an urgency that’s Kryptonite to procrastination. Having a deadline is a first-rate incentive for getting things done.
By going through the 50,000 word Challenge, you’ll pick up some new skills and learn shortcuts on how to write quicker. A most important skill to develop is to write effectively, with efficiency. It’s a streamlining process that comes with repetition and practice, which you’ll have an abundance of by completion.
Planning to meet the deadline is where you cut down self-doubt at the knees. Use it to chunk down the Challenge into manageable units, schedule your time, and develop some character outlines. You’ll always know what to do next, which prevents feelings of overwhelm and overload from even starting.
Leverage your platform with the status of completing the 50,000 words in 30 days Challenge. “Building a writing career takes the action of building a platform where my words can be presented and sold.” Take advantage of the many opportunities available to connect and share with writers, agents and publishers available through the NaNoWriMo forum, Twitter and online chats. And it’s a nice badge of honor for your website, so wear it with pride!
Community. The forum is a place to share, seek advice, learn, gather information, get critiqued and support in general. You all share in the common goal of the Challenge, so take advantage of it. Participating in the NaNoWriMo community will also trigger one of the keys to greater happiness, known as social investment. So as you share your common goals and adversities, you’ll feel happier about it. Nice bonus.
And finally, while participation in the NaNoWriMo Challenge is free, donations are accepted and tax deductable.
It Doesn’t Stop November 30
Once the 30 day writing challenge is finished, NaNoWriMo also provides a follow up program in the months of January and February called Now What? This phase is for editing and revisions with participation in online seminars where writers have access to the advice of agents, publishing staff and NaNoWriMo authors. Ongoing interactions are then continued via Twitter.
(image from here)
Written by Cari Bennette, ghost writer and content editor at JetWriters.com. Cari helps others with editing and she is also planning to finish and publish her first novel next year.