An Argument For NaNoWriMo

by - October 13, 2015

an argument for nanowrimo #write31days
NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. Every November. 30 days. 50,000 words.

On Friday I got myself all signed up. I am officially a 2015 NaNoWriMo participant and I'm already squirming with nervous energy.

Yes, I'm absolutely crazy.

And yes, I'm stone-cold serious. 

This will be my second year. I know it's hard. And know it works.

Without NaNo, The Church In The Wildwood would not exist. I needed the aggressive push of this challenge to get the story out of me and I expect the same results this year.

50,000 words. I'm going to do it.


If you're on the edge; if you're teetering on the brink, thinking you'd like to write a novel but a challenge like this has you shaking in your boots - let me make a few points in favour of such an endeavor...because nothing would make me happier than to bring you with me - to do this along side you - to cheer for you as you unlock what's been hiding inside of you...


I work well under pressure. I like to have a firm goal in mind and see the line grow as I approach that finish. I like the public accountability - how anyone at anytime can check my NaNo page and know whether I'm keeping up or slacking. I love deadlines. I love meeting them. I like the satisfaction of watching the finish line come closer. I love to win. I want to win. And so I shall. {I hope.} Pressure isn't for everyone, I understand that, but if you've been making excuses for far too long this could be just the thing to get you on your way to your writing goals.

Failure isn't failure! 

As much as I love meeting a goal, there's no way I can know what November will actually hold when it comes to real life. I have a husband, three children, a day job, volunteer could very well prevent me from reaching the NaNo finish line. And that's okay. No walls will crumble. No nasty note from the NaNo offices will arrive in my mailbox telling me I'm no longer welcome at their writer's table. NaNoWriMo isn't about discouragement. It's only about encouragement. If life happens and 50,000 words don't - guess what?? SO WHAT??? Whatever the word-count, it's more than I had on October 31 so no matter the outcome, I will celebrate what November brings to my pages. 

Forced Content!

It's about writing. It's not about good writing. It's not about perfect writing. It's about 30 days without a delete key. It's about a first draft. It's about vomiting out ideas and cleaning up the stink later. Don't feel like writing? Doesn't matter - do it anyway! Your first run at a story doesn't have to be flawless but it does have to be written. Write when writing is the last thing you want to do. Write when all you want to be doing is writing. Write when you feel it come easy. Write when every word comes with the pain of a thirty hour labour. Just write. Don't delete. Don't read. Just write.


There's no time to be afraid!

So much energy can be wasted on thinking you're not good enough, your ideas aren't original, or your characters have stupid names...It doesn't matter! Just get it out! If you spend November scared of what you're writing you'll never meet your goal. Set aside inhibitions and go all in. When you ignore your fears and you allow the pressure to propel you forward things will be pulled from you and into your story that you would have never found moseying along on your tiptoes. Be bold. Be brave. This is only about you and the story you have inside you - a story you probably won't even know until you read it back to yourself some time in December.

It's invigorating and confidence-building!

I learned a lot about myself through this process last year and most importantly, I learned that the impossible is possible if you just tell yourself that impossible is impossible. I am proud of what I did last November and I'm proud of what I've now turned it into almost a year later.

So, what do you say? Are you up for it?

Not a writer but want to support me in this challenge? You can sponsor me! Monies raised go towards the good work the NaNo offices are doing in promoting creative writing across the globe. {Click here to make a donation.} Bird is a novel project that died a few years ago. I had a rough start and no guts. I'm going to revisit it this November - strip it back to the bones and start again - and hope the pressure will resurrect it into the story I'm confident it can become! {click the image above to see all the #write31days posts}

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  1. Impressive undertaking my friend! I'll be rooting for you all the way.

  2. Wow! That was quite the motivational speech! I feel like you should have a whistle, and we should all be gathered around, hands in, ready to scream NO DELETE on three.

    1, 2 , 3...NO DELETE!

  3. I've been tossing around the idea of NaNoWriMo for the last couple of months. I have a short story that I want to build into a novel but the idea seems infathomable. It's complex and has to be so historically believeable that I'm stuck on collecting items for research and not writing.

    When you sit down to write for the month, do you have a plan? What program do you use and does it matter? Do you write sequentially or random scene by scene? Sorry, lots of questions, but I'm really intrigued by the idea.

    I'm looking forward to hearing how your journey with your book goes too. It's so great to find women who are writing and doing what they love. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. If you log on to the NaNoWriMo website you will find a handbook to help you organize your thoughts. It's only a high school level workbook, but in my mind, probably my speed. It is free. Just download.

    3. Oh, I hope you'll give it a try!!!

      When I did it last year I had little more than a rough idea of the story I wanted to tell - I'll be sharing a little more about that tomorrow if you want to come back ;)

      I used Scrivener - it's amazing and I found it really helpful. I was able to get a free trial before NaNoWriMo last year and I used it all through November and then bought it at the end - I received a discount for 'winning' NaNo too...hopefully they'll offer the same thing this year. It really doesn't matter what kind of program you use though-as long as you're comfortable with it.

      I absolutely did not write sequentially - I was all over the place and it took me the last ten months to straighten it all out but that's the only way I could make my word count - just thinking in terms of scenes and not a whole story.

      Even if you don't end up doing NaNo, I hope you'll find a way to turn your story into a novel!! Good luck!


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© Alanna Rusnak