Why Write-A-Thon: Five Reasons to Try National Novel Writing Month
By Rochelle Melander
According a survey by the Jenkins group, 80% of Americans want to write a book. Is that you? Is writing a book on your bucket list? Here are five reasons you need to sign up for National Novel Writing Month.
1. You’ve always wanted to write a book. A friend if mine who runs marathons says that signing up for a race is often the only way that someone will commit time to training. I have seen the same thing with National Novel Writing Month. Often the only way for a writer to get motivated to start and finish a project is by signing up for a race like NaNo. Why not? If writing a book is on your bucket list, you owe it to yourself to try.
2. Writers need deadlines. Real or imagined, writers work better under the threat of a deadline. National Novel Writing Month provides writers without publishers the beautiful gift of a deadline. Who cares that there isn’t an editor waiting to get your book on December 1? For those 30 days, you and your online buddies are working like crazy to meet the November 30 deadline and finish your novel.
3. You can do anything for 30 days. Life is crazy enough without trying to write a novel on top of work, family and chores. National Novel Writing month works because anyone can write massive amounts of words for a short period of time. Yes, it will require sacrifices and long hours and late nights or early mornings—but you can do that for a brief period of time. In December, life will go back to normal. You can pick up your habits of sleeping in and staying up late, watching hours of mindless television, and hanging out with friends at the bar.
4. You will feel better about yourself. According to research by Ryan Howell of San Francisco State University, when we work towards a hard goal, we feel better at the end of the day. The study has been called the “no pain, no gain” rule. Doing National Novel Writing Month certainly counts as one of those hard goals. So fear not, weary writers! If you leave your writing time with an aching butt or a sore brain, trust that it is good for you.
5. You need a vacation from your life. You lost your job, broke up with a significant other, or are already despondent about the shorter days and colder weather. Well, National Novel Writing Month gives you the opportunity to take a mental vacation to an amazing place of your own creation. Set your novel in a place that you’d like to live, create characters you’d like to spend time with, and move there (at least in your head) for the month of November.
Rochelle Melander, the Write Now! Coach, is the author of 10 books, a certified professional coach, and a popular speaker. Her new book helps writers conquer National Novel Writing Month, Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It). Melander teaches professionals how to write fast, get published, establish credibility, and navigate the new world of social media. In 2006, Rochelle founded Dream Keepers Writing Group, a program that teaches writing to at-risk tweens and teens. Access to free tips, classes, a Write-A-Thon word count tool and more online at www.writenowcoach.com.