Top 5 Reasons To Do NaNoWriMo 2012

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.


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.

88 thoughts on “Top 5 Reasons To Do NaNoWriMo 2012

  1. Um, can we start with a novel we’ve already started, or does it have to be BRAND NEW, starting at the beginning of November?

    • Hey Georgie–
      The challenge is to start an entirely new story and to earn the badge, you must create a new writing on Figment.

  2. I really want to try this out! But I’m scared to take a shot at it. I can barely write a 20 minute story without leaving the idea behind for another.

  3. Man, every time I -say- I’ll do NaNo or Scriptfrenzy I go pretty strong for 1-2 days and then get distracted by other stuff. This is pretty much the perfect year for me to try it again, but… Ugh. I don’t think my love of project-hopping makes me a good Wrimo. /sigh

    Shame, too, because I could really do with ditching my habit of writing a single paragraph and then doodling my characters instead.

  4. buh, buh, buh… I HAVE SCHOOL! D: This is terrible! No! Why must school and extra curricular activities take up all of my time? -sniffle-

    • It doesn’t require a lot of time, and it’s accesible at school as long as you have internet and a flash drive. This is my third year, and I know the tricks. Feel free to ask anything.

      • thanks for the link, although it’s a bad time to put the Nanowrimo because I have huuuuuuge tests during the month of November 🙁

  5. I’m doing NaNoWriMo for the FIRST TIME EVER. I don’t know if this is a good idea especially with my schoolwork, but I definitely want to try. I’d rather crash and burn.

    So currently prepping for NaNoWriMo. Just wondering, it says we have to start a new writing during November to qualify for the badge. Does that mean to create one or to publish one? I created one already so that I don’t have to worry about it later, but will that disqualify me from the badge…?

  6. Ally Carter’s one of the authors on tap?! Yeah, I think I’ll give it a go 🙂 I guess it’ll be good practice, anyhow…

  7. I’ll do it:) I’ve never tried to write one in such a short time period before so it should be fun!:) Are we suppose to post it on figment also and tag it so we get the badge?

  8. Off we are then!!! I’m plotting my characters immanent demise! WHO WANTS TO JOIN ME!!!! xD This is going to be a fun month *evil grin* Can’t wait to get started… not to plan and plot and junk :3

  9. Hey there! Just to get things clear cause it’s my first time entering the contest, we post our novel on both Figment and just transfer it to the NaNoWriMo site, right?

    • Hey!

      If you post it here, you’ll get a special badge. You can plug the completed story into NaNo’s website to earn their badge at the end of the month!

          • What do I need to do to get the badge on Figment? Just create a story and tag it NaNoWriMo, or is there something else I need to do as well?

          • I also wanted to double check if the minimum word count accepted is 30,000 or not. I’m not sure if it’s that or something else because previous participants said they needed to write 50,000. Sorry if it’s any trouble 🙂

  10. I turn seventeen on halloween would I still be able to apply?
    Also, I have never heard of this before so it makes me really shy and anxious to just put an idea up.

  11. When you say that we have to create a new story for NaNoWriMo, are we supposed to post our story here on Figment? I’m a fairly new member here at Figment but this is my fourth time participating in NaNoWriMo. As far as I can recall regarding NaNoWriMo you’re not supposed to post up your NaNoWriMo entry in public online.

    I understand creating a cover and then making a new file, but for us to get the badge, are we required to post our work that we used for NaNoWriMo also?

    • There is a YWP (young writers program) for people trying to NaNo while still in school. Then there is a program for everyone else!

  12. My one problem is I have no inspiration to wright right now. I just started a new story 12 days ago and I’m out of ideas. Frustrating!

  13. When you say that to get the NaNo badge for Figment, you have to post it here and tag it, do I have to post the whole thing to get it?

  14. For the badge on Figment, all I need to do is create a story and tag it NaNoWriMo? Or is there something else I need to do as well?

  15. I tagged my story correctly (I even copied and pasted), but where’s my badge? Oh, wow. That sounded a lot LESS greedy in my head.

    • Hey Jade!

      There can be some delay in receiving your badge; it is not instantaneous. The story must also have been created in November. Any stories created on Figment before November are ineligible to receive the prize.

  16. Is there a sign u section that’s not for kids? I’m 18 and I would really like to take part but the sign up is only for high school or lower.

  17. I noticed the badge says “Young Writers Pro gram WriMos” but I’m doing the adult program (although I’m 15), is there a different badge for us? or do we have to just get the YWP one?

  18. Hello! I was wondering…. My badge on my profile has not appeared yet and I was wondering if you had to reach a certain word limit or what, but it’s not there.
    Thanks for the help!

    • Hey!

      Make sure the tag is correct and make sure that your story was posted on Figment during November (even 11:59 p.m. on October 31 won’t work!)

    • Hey Mariah-

      Make sure you created the story in November. Only published and tagged stories (so check that it isn’t a draft or tagged improperly) created in Figment in November (not October 31 at 11:59 p.m. ET, but November 1 or later) can earn the badge.

  19. I set up my novel before November 1st, but I didn’t start writing or publish it until November. Will that affect badge eligibility?

  20. Do we make the writing on Figment or on NaNoWriMo? Maybe I missed something but I’m confused!
    Yay! I’m doing it even though it’s a little late..mostly because Wendy Mass *gasp* is one of the authors participating!!! 😀 She is the all-time best author ever I love her!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hey!

      To earn the Figment badge, you should post your story on Figment. If you’re just interested in participating, you can write your story wherever, and then submit it to the word counter at the end of the month!

  21. If we actually want to publish our novel, do we have to put the whole thing up on Figment, or can we just put up an excerpt and tag it to get the badge?

    • Hey! This was a campaign that ran last November, so you can no longer get the badge. Let me know if you have any other question.

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