The Pros and Cons of NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge. It started in San Francisco as a challenge among friends to write a novel in a month. It exploded from there. Now it’s a world-wide challenge run through a website. It promotes literacy which is a good thing. They set the number of words at fifty thousand. I know I’ve talked about it before. There are pros and cons to participation and that’s what I’m going to discuss today.

NaNoWriMo is good for getting a rough draft. You start writing the story and that’s all you worry about. You can get the rough draft done without worrying about getting the right words. That’s why it is good. It’s also good as a challenge. You feel good when you ‘win’ it. If you don’t, well, there’s always next year. You will still have something to work with.

Some people work well with deadlines and a strict ‘no editing’ rule. That is what NaNoWriMo provides. You can win it by devoting only a couple of hours per day for the thirty days of November. If you don’t enjoy deadlines, you might want to give this challenge a miss. That’s OK. It’s also OK if you try and fail. You’ll never know if you could do it until you try. It’s a good way to practice breaking a large project down into manageable sized chunks.

Sometimes we can get caught up with the word count and focus only on that. This is a challenge to get the rough draft, but you shouldn’t ignore the idea of the story to get the words out. That can lead to disaster. You’ll ‘win’ the challenge, but you may not have a viable rough draft. It’s a delicate balance. I know I said not to worry about word choice, but you do have to keep the story moving and on track. The goal is to finish the story as well as reach the word count goal.

Sometimes, though, we are hardest on ourselves. That’s the case with NaNoWriMo. Some people work so hard to win, they lose sight of the fun of it. If that should happen to you, stop and bail out of the challenge. You need to take care of yourself. Stressing yourself over this challenge is not necessary. NaNoWriMo may not be for you if you stress easily.

Keep the pros and cons of the challenge in mind when deciding whether to take part in NaNoWriMo. It can be fun or it can be very stressful. It’s hard if you make it so. Stress is not good for your health and you need to keep that in mind. If you are prone to stress related health issues, give the challenge a pass. It’s not easy. That’s why it’s called a challenge. You will find NaNoWriMo a rewarding experience if you put in the work. Give it a try, but don’t let it stress you out.

About

I am not one who is comfortable talking about myself but here goes. I enjoy writing, family history, and reading. I decided to do this blog because I wanted to try something new. I decided to make it a weekly blog because I wasn't sure that I could keep up with a daily one, and monthly seemed like I was writing a magazine. I think I did ok with my choices. You'll notice that there are not a lot of graphics on my site. That's because there are graphics plastered everywhere on the Internet and those sites sometimes take forever to load. This blog is a place where you can kick back, relax and be ready to be amused. At least I hope I willbamuse you. This blog is on a variety of subjects from my ficitional cat agency, the FFL, which is monthly, to instructional blogs to editorials, which are my opinions only. I admit that I don't know everything and could be wrong -- I frequently am. Now, stop reading about me and read what I have to say!

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© Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den, 2010-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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