What Do You Get Out of NaNoWriMo?

A lot of writers on the NaNoWriMo forums seem to have people in their lives who don’t understand the draw of NaNoWriMo. These people seem to think that just because you don’t get some massive, tangible reward, it’s not worth it. So I thought I’d compile a list of what exactly writers can get out of NaNoWriMo:

  • The certificate if you win. Sure, this isn’t a massive thing, but it still gives one a sense of achievement.
  • A massive writing community
  • New friends
  • A completed manuscript, or a massive head start on one
  • Accountability. So many writers (myself included) tend to procrastinate if they’re not held to their goals. NaNoWriMo imposes a deadline and, with the aid of the community, gives you a kick in the pants to finish what you started.
  • Increased literacy, which is particularly potent for students
  • Greater appreciation for writers, novels and the written word in general
  • Possible publication. NaNoWriMo has its success stories, such as Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, which started off as a NaNovel and now has a movie based on it.

All of that seems a pretty good incentive to do NaNoWriMo, and I’m sure there are other advantages I haven’t touched on yet.

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3 thoughts on “What Do You Get Out of NaNoWriMo?

  1. Great list! One more thing people need to realize is that writing a novel isn’t like any other sort of writing we do — there’s something about creating a whole alternate world and holding it in your head that is hugely challenging, although it gets easier w/ practice. And finishing a NaNo novel gives writers that practice . . .

    • Exactly. People also seem to forget that only a small number of people actually write a novel in the first place. I saw 5% cited on someone’s blog, but that number could be up for debate.

      • Yes, I saw a post that used the 5% figure somewhere too — only it was 5% of people who say they want to write a novel every even try, and only 5% of that group finish, and only 5% of that group polish, etc…

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