To Nano or Not to Nano
I’m not going to make this a long post because, let’s face it, there are a million and one blog posts on Nano out there. I’ll add a few of my favorite on here just in case you want to go check them out.
Let’s start with the basics. What is Nano? Nano is actually short for NaNoWriMo, which is short for National Novel Writing Month. I’d been hearing about Nano for a while but never really looked into it for some reason or another. It was actually after my first novel was published that I sat down and seriously considered Nano. But let me tell you, when I did Nano I was hooked! It was exhilarating, exhausting and exciting (excuse the alliteration, lol!). Nano is certainly not for everyone and it is definitely a tedious experience.
The basic premise behind Nano is to complete a novel in one month. That is 50,000 words or more, at least 1,667 words a day, every single day. No sick days, no excuses, Nano is the ultimate chance to prove you’ve got what it takes.
I would suggest giving Nano a try if you’ve never done it before. Nano can give those who need a little bit of an incentive to finally finish that project that you’ve been working on, or start writing that novel you’ve always wanted to finish. In Nano, although there is a “prize” the winning is really reaching a personal goal. When I won Nano, I never actually used any other sponsored “gift”. Generally they are discounts of websites or free trials. The point of Nano isn’t really about the prize. To be honest, the ability to say you’ve finished a novel in one month is a pretty big accomplishment.
To make the decision to do Nano means a lot. You’re on the first step towards reaching your goal.
The positive comments that I have received from my peers were that Nano teaches you to write through the writer’s block, to force your muse to work when you say it’s time to work, and to form a very good habit. Many question whether this kind of writing actually creates something with depth or just something to get written on the page.
Not to Nano
Nano takes an enormous amount of dedication. I know 1,667 words doesn’t seem like a lot, but doing it every day, reaching that goal when you are sick, your kids are sick, work is asking you to stay late, or you want to eat Turkey with your family on Thanksgiving. Trust me when I say, getting behind even one day can be incredibly difficult to make up. The only way I was able to win Nano was to stay ahead of the game by writing more words than my daily word count every chance I could. I stayed up late, I worked during naptime and I even asked my family to help babysit so I could get my word count done. There is much sacrifice, so it’s important to evaluate whether Nano is for you.
Many of my friends have had a few choice words when it came to Nano. Many writers think that forcing the hand doesn’t make for a good story. I have one friend who says she could never force herself to write when she wasn’t in the mood to write. Her heart needed to be in every second of her writing. Granted, it took her almost 5 years to write her book.
In the end, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to Nano. Every single writer is different, does things at a different pace, and has a different connection to their art.
Did you do Nano? How was your experience?
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