~ By Melina Kantor
Note: On Friday, we’ll be posting another point of view about participating in NaNoWriMo.
Everyone has a different process,
Only you know what works best for you.
So come back Friday, and see what you think.
Apologies to all of my Facebook friends, friends in general, and everyone who has to put up with me in November.
Since 2007, National Novel Writing Month has made the entire month of November the highlight of my entire year.
And I let everyone know it. My Facebook cover photo is from the NaNo site, and my profile photo is of me in my NaNo hoodie holding a NaNo mug that reads, “CAN’T TALK, NOVELING.”
I post my word count publically every night.
I’m one of the Municipal Liaisons for Jerusalem, and my local wrimos hear from me A LOT.
It’s insanely ridiculous. Why would an event in which I nearly kill myself to get 50,000 words written in thirty days make me so hyper, giddy and otherwise filled with joy?
Here are my top 5 reasons for participating in NaNo:
1. Anyone Can Do It
It’s an event for anyone who wants to celebrate story.
2. I’m a Plotter
As somebody who leans more to the plotting side of the pantser / plotter spectrum, I should possibly run screaming from the idea of writing so freely for thirty days of “literary abandon.”
But here’s the thing. Left to my own devices, I could spend years plotting and crafting my opening scene into a perfectly formatted, error-free, work of art.
In other words, without the pressure, I’d get nowhere.
I do plot my NaNo novels, and I so wish that my apartment was as crazily organized as my Scrivener documents.
Because I plot, I can jump around from scene to scene. NaNo doesn’t let me get stuck.
NaNo forces me to move forward and not get hung up on details.
3. I Adore the Community
When I began NaNo’ing, I lived in Manhattan. I was able to surround myself with hundreds of other crazy but brave local writers.
Before I moved to Jerusalem, I checked the NaNo site to make sure there was a Jerusalem region. There was!
During my first November in Israel, we were dealing with rocket fire from Gaza. At the time, the NaNo community was small. But I couldn’t have been more grateful. Writing, especially in the company others, was a huge distraction and comfort.
Last year, our local community grew. We even wrote on a boat.
Best of all, thanks to social media and podcasts, the entire world can be your community.
4. Living in the Word of Story
During NaNo, I live and breathe my story. When I’m not writing, I listen to my story playlist as often as I can, which makes it almost impossible to escape my world. My desktop is my story collage (example here).
Yes, life happens in November. I teach, I take care of the dogs, etc. Though I truly wish I could, I don’t write full-time. November is my chance to make my story my #1 priority.
5. The Accomplishment
I’ll never forget the moment I won my first NaNoWriMo. I was sitting on my couch with my computer on my lap. When I reached 50K, I went into shock. It took effort not to cry.
I’d never written fiction, and suddenly, I had my own novel, in my favorite genre. The only reason I’d participated in the first place was that one of my favorite authors, Lani Diane Rich, had podcasted about it.
That year, she won too. My favorite author and I had accomplished the exact same thing at the same time.
How freaking cool is that? (Read our NaNo themed interview with her here.)
If you can write a novel in a month, there’s very little you can’t do.
Try it, and I promise that you’ll feel like a superhero.
A Whole Month Ahead
Luckily, we’ve had our first of three write – ins this week. I have no doubt that my fellow wrimos will help me stay on track.
Want to learn more about NaNoWriMo? We have a whole archive and tips, tricks and resources to help you.
It’s not too late to dive into the maddness. The chapter is here to help and support you.
Good luck, and write – on!
(Add me to your NaNo buddy list!)
* Are you participating in NaNo? If so, why?
Melina writes contemporary romance with a pinch of oregano and a dash of chutzpah. She loves to travel, especially to her family’s village in Crete, and turn her adventures into research for her novels. In July of 2012, she moved to Jerusalem with her adorable but sneaky cocker spaniel. Her family now includes an incredibly sweet yet troubled rescue puppy. You can visit her at http://melinakantor.com