Why Every Writer Should Take Part In NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and is an event for writers that takes place every November.

Do you struggle to keep yourself motivated while writing a novel, but you really want to finish that story you’ve had stuck in your head for a long time? Give it a go!

Whenever I’ve told people about it in the past, they tend to look at me like I’ve just grown a second head, but it’s a really good way of completing your first draft in good time and giving you the foundations of your story to work on later. So even if you know it’s not written well, it doesn’t matter because that is where the rewriting comes in! It’s all about getting to that 50,000-word target, which is officially 1,667 words a day through the month, and making each word count to push you right up to that happy (or perhaps not so happy) ending.

It takes a lot of hard work and a good amount of mental encouragement but if you get there in the end, it’s the best feeling in the world. And now you have a finished story at the end of it! Maybe once you’ve worked your editing magic, you can query it to agents and maybe even get published one day. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves for now.

So, how do you manage to keep your fingers on the keyboard or wrapped around the pen? One thing that always helps me when I participate is Twitter. Using certain hashtags and following other writers and getting involved in their posts will make you realise that you’re not doing it alone, which is empowering in itself. I always tweet about what I’m writing, because I’m proud of my story and how it’s going, or equally because I’m not. The support from other writers is always inspirational. Twitter has such an amazing writing community. Follow, like, retweet! Support other people and let them support you back.

There is also the NaNoWriMo website, which allows you to share your story’s premise with other participants, and keep track of your daily word count. Your stats will tell you how much you’ve written overall throughout the month and how much you have left. There are also forums and other ways of keeping in touch with the community there. This is even better in April and July, when they run Camp NaNoWriMo, which is the same thing but they assign you to different virtual camps, so you are with a group of other writers who can support each other daily on the site.

I like to take part each time, and as well as sharing my progress via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, I also like to upload daily vlogs on my BookTube channel, AprilGraceReads, to hold myself accountable! There is also a great writing community on BookTube, too. There are also various Book Tags relating to the event, which make it extra fun.

Whether you plan, don’t plan, or plan a little bit at a time, NaNoWriMo is great for every writer to experience because it pushes you and disciplines you. It’s too easy to procrastinate, so writing 50,000 words in a month is a real achievement. I’ve taken part in Camp NaNoWriMo three times and won it once. I’ve taken part in NaNoWriMo twice and won twice. Everyone is different. But if you really want to test your limits and finish your story, I recommend giving it a try.

The next one comes in November – better get that notebook ready.

April Grace O’Sullivan

Literature Manager

Sapphire Community Group