Chris Angotti, Director of NaNoWriMo’s Young Writer Program is here to tell you exactly why you need to sign-up for NaNoWriMo 2012!
On November 1, over 300,000 kids, teens, and adults worldwide will sit down to write novels. No, this isn’t some dystopian scenario where people must pen plots to bring food to their districts. It’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a creative writing event that’s been motivating authors since 1999. Participants have 30 days to complete the first drafts of their novels—and to enter December with brilliant-but-unpolished stories ready for revision.
We’ve already got a lot of Figs taking on the challenge this year, and many completed it in 2011. But we’re ready to support even more risk-taking writers. For those potentially brave souls who still need some convincing, here are five ways that NaNoWriMo will rock your brainpans this November.
1. Writing a novel in a month will adjust your expectations. If you’re a perfectionist about your work, you’re probably a lot like me—and more relevantly, you might find the idea of pumping out words to be pretty terrifying. “But… the grammar! The inconsistent characterization!” you shout while eyeing the delete key. Before you reach for it, realize this: your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. When you have only 30 days to write, you’ll notice that your best creative work is often about just letting your (non-deleting) fingers fly.
2. Noveling with a deadline will give you focus. In other months, you might start a story and then put it off. (That TV won’t watch itself, after all, and surely your ideas can wait until after the Pretty Little Liars marathon.) During NaNoWriMo, you don’t have time for these excuses if you want to reach your goal. You need to dedicate yourself to writing every day. For writers with short attention spans (i.e., most of us), that obligation is an powerful thing.
3. Now is the best time to do this. You don’t need to have a creative writing class, a college degree, a book deal, or anything else to write your novel. You just need an idea. It could be huge, medium, miniscule, or even nonexistent, on November 1. As long as you sit down to write, that idea will become something greater. Trust us.
4. We have professional authors rooting you on. Throughout the month, you’ll get pep talks in your inbox from some of your favorite novelists. They offer advice on getting started, beating writer’s block, staying motivated, and bringing your story home. On tap this November: Lois Lowry, Walter Dean Myers, Kate DiCamillo, Marissa Meyer, Scott Westerfeld, Ally Carter, John Corey Whaley, Wendy Mass, and Julie Cross.
5. We have an amazing writer community. You Figs have gotta meet our Wrimos. From geeking out to sharing tips, you guys have a ton in common. Now we just need a catchy combo name… Figgy Wrimos? Wrimy Figgos? We’ll let you decide in the official NaNoWriMo 2012 group.
Sign up at NaNoWriMo today to be sure you’re included in all the writerly motivation next month—and in the free revision and self-publishing support we’ll offer in 2013. Check out this page for full details about how the event works, plus links to all of our resources.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
All Figgies who participate in this year’s NaNoWriMo will receive a shiny new badge for their profile! All you need to do is start a new writing during November, and tag it NaNoWriMo12.