Will You NaNoWriMo? by Ava Jae

Photo credit: zenobia_joy on Flickr

Incredibly, November 1st is this Sunday. As in less than ten days away; as in NaNoWriMo will soon be upon us.

So naturally, this is the week where many writers start finalizing their will I NaNo this year? decision one way or the other. And if you’re still waffling on a decision, here are some pros and cons that may or may not help.

Pros

  • Great for fast-drafters. If you are a fast-drafter, or would like to try fast-drafting or think maybe, one day, fast-drafting would be fun to experiment with: NaNoWriMo is perfect for you. In order to meet the NaNo goal of 50,000 words at the end of the month, you have to fast-draft (which is why NaNo isn’t for everyone, which I’ll get to below), so if this is something you’d like to try, there’s no time like the present.
  • Super motivational. The best part about NaNoWriMo (besides the really pretty graphs and automath) is taking part in a worldwide community event. There are thousands of writers all around the world all taking time this month to hammer out massive novel progress, and it can be seriously motivational to take on such a big project with someone else. Many someones. All moving toward the same goal. In my experience, the NaNo community is pretty wonderful.
  • Fun (yes, really). I mean, besides the stress and exhaustion of sprinting through a novel, NaNoWriMo really can be a ton of fun. It’s exhilarating to watch your novel grow every day, to dive so wholly into the world of your book—and to do it with loads of people cheering you on and doing the same. Plus prizes at the end if you win! So that’s always a nice perk.

Cons

  • Doesn’t really work if you’re not a fast-drafter. As I mentioned above, NaNoWriMo is not for everyone—and that’s okay! NaNoWriMo is really geared toward writers who are fast-drafters or are open to experimenting with fast-drafting, but the thing is, not all writers can or should fast-draft. If this is not a method that works for you, then there is no shame whatsoever in sitting the event out.
  • Can be stressful. Trying to write a book in a month, or 50,000 words in a month, isn’t easy, especially if you have a lot of other things going on or haven’t tried it before. There are some days when you’re going to be exhausted from the day, but still have words to write. There will be days when you wish you hadn’t participated at all. That’s all normal, because the truth is NaNo can be stressful—but I find that whatever progress you make throughout the month, whether it’s 500 or 50,000 words, makes the stress worth it in the end.

Personally, I’m not sure whether I’ll be NaNoing this year, because it depends on how quickly I get intensive revisions on another project done. But as someone who has participated in the past and walked away with a story she loves (in fact, the story I’m revising right now), I can definitely vouch that NaNo can be a great option for some writers who could use a little extra motivation.

Ava Jae is a YA and NA writer, an Assistant Editor at Entangled Publishing, and is represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency. Her YA Sci-Fi debut, BEYOND THE RED, is releasing March 2016 from Sky Pony Press. When she’s not writing about kissing, superpowers, explosions, and aliens, you can find her with her nose buried in a book, nerding out over the latest X-Men news, or hanging out on her blog, Twitter, Facebooktumblr, Goodreads, Instagram, or YouTube channel.

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