17 Reasons Why Participating In ‘National Novel Writing Month’ Will Change Your Life

National Novel Writing Month (also known as NaNoWriMo) is for every person out there, including you, who has ever wanted to write a novel but could never figure out how to start. Beginning on November 1st, participants work towards the goal of completing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30th. Here are 17 reasons why participating in this exciting, liberating month will change your life.

1. Last year alone, over 325,142 people participated in NaNoWriMo. They were just every day people, including “auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers” according to the site. And by the end of the month, they walked away with completed novels.

2. This global event takes place on six continents.

3. Over 250 novels that were completed during NaNoWriMo have been published through a traditional route, including Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

4. Signing up is free and easy.

5. …But NaNoWriMo is a nonprofit that runs on donations, so if you are ably-financed and want to give some money, it’s tax-deductible!

6. According to the site, signing up allows you to join a local group of writers so that you can participate in in-person writing events (if you choose to). You can also receive tons of encouragement by connecting with NaNoWriMo staff and published authors online.

7. There are also online forums that allow you to network with writers from around the world.

8.  NaNoWriMo has a ton of sponsors and a lot of cool prizes, such as 50% off Scrivener for all NaNoWriMo winners.

9. According to a 2014 survey, 86% of participants said that NaNoWriMo greatly assisted them in accomplishing their goals.

10. The event has partnered with six published authors who will act as official ‘coaches’ for participants. Each week, one author will take over the @NaNoWriMo Twitter account to provide advice, encouragement, and answers to any questions you may have.

11. The website has a ton of prep resources to help you plan your novel and/or to simply help you get started. Topics covered include how to have success during NaNoWriMo, characters and backstory, setting and worldbuilding, and plot and conflict.

12. You can take a character questionnaire to help develop your characters into three-dimensional human beings, and work with a 5-step guide to assist you in building your story.

13. Pep talks will be provided throughout the month, which basically means you’ll receive inspirational letters written by successful authors, sent straight to your NaNoWriMo inbox, to keep you motivated, inspired, and on track.

14. Previous pep talk veterans include James Patterson, John Green, Lemony Snicket, Veronica Roth, and Lois Lowry. You can still read their letters here.

15. The site provides a word count tracker so that you can update your progress whenever you want (even daily) and keep yourself in check throughout the month.

16. You can earn writing badges by achieving certain milestones (like 10,000 words or 25,000 words) and although it may sound a little juvenile, it’s an easy and effective way to keep you writing diligently.

17. After NaNoWriMo is over, they use January and February as the “Now What?” months in which you can get help and guidance with your revision and publishing process.

Hokay, so basically: you have help with getting started, you receive guidance and encouragement along the way, and by the end of the month, you’ll have a completed first-draft of a novel. There’s no reason not to try it! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

I’m a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

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