November is nearly upon us. This marks the beginning of the four long months of late fall and early winter, and the onslaught of the holidays for the pessimistic writer. It is also the beginning of a time of focus and mad writing effort for the optimistic writer, now that the days are growing colder and darker.
November 1 also marks the beginning of the annual National Novel Writing Contest. For 30 days, novelists everywhere join virtual forces and commit to writing 1,667 words per day (on average) to reach a goal of a 50,000 word rough draft manuscript by 11:59 pm local time on November 30. December 1 they wake up late to the realization that they are an author with the incredible tasks ahead of reviewing, rewriting, and editing their manuscript and whipping it into publishable shape. Not everyone “wins” but they do come out of it with serious dedication and effort trying, and hopefully, a renewed interest in writing.
If you haven’t taken the plunge before to join this crazy word-smithing community, or if you are coming back for more (torture), here are 30 reasons to give it a shot this year and become an active member of the novel-in-a-month club.
- It’s wacky and no one will ever believe you!
- You need a serious effort pulling yourself out of procrastination station.
- You have at least one good story idea that keeps nagging at you.
- You just can’t “find the time to write” in your busy schedule.
- There are 750,000+ novelists just like you who will be cranking out words on their keyboard day after day – you wouldn’t want to be left out, would you?
- You want to show off your talents because you know and everyone else should know that you can bang out 50,000 words in half that time.
- It’s the one time a year you will have incredible support and resources on a constant basis to see you through.
- Writing a novel is a serious challenge and you need a schedule to write it.
- You can call yourself an author at the end!
- You will meet people online and locally, making many new noveling friends.
- Learn as you go by joining forums and reading emails and pep talks from other novelists sweating alongside you.
- Get seriously motivated by logging your word count each day on the website and watching it rise.
- Once you get going, it will become a bit…addicting.
- You love to drink coffee and tea and eat dark chocolate, especially late in the day.
- You are an early riser and like to start the day writing to get it out of the way.
- You are a night owl and enjoy your time alone with your laptop and a nice glass of cabernet and a mermaid blanket.
- You have been wanting to write a novel since you were 8 years old.
- What else are you going to do at night, watch the news?
- Practice makes perfect!
- So what if it sucks? Can you actually write 50,000 words? You won’t know until you try it.
- You hate your day job so much and you know you will never become a rich and famous author working for someone else, so why not write a book!
- You realize that “one day” is actually November 1st.
- You need an excuse to take a break from reading so many other author’s books.
- You are single and have all the time in world.
- You are married and need a break from cooking, cleaning the house, and raising the kids.
- You have a dog or a cat that will sleep at your feet and silently egg you on.
- You can write anywhere and any time: while lying in bed, driving a car (voice to text), waiting for appointments, while drinking coffee on lazy Sunday mornings…you get the picture!
- You will now have words and chapters to put behind that amazing book title you came up with while running the other day.
- Everybody else is doing it.
- It’s totally freaking insane!
Writing is hard and writing a novel in 30 days in really hard, yet fun! Whatever your reason, challenge yourself this year and participate in National Novel Writing Month in November. It’s motivating, it’s scary, it’s inspirational, it’s fun, and it’s exhausting. Yet in the end, you will be so proud of yourself and so excited to continue on to the next steps of finishing and possibly publishing your book. It’s a learning experience, a growing opportunity, and a challenge every aspiring author should consider at least once in their writing career.
Best of luck if you decide to do it!
Article written by Anne M. Carroll