NaNoWriMo: Why I Participate

Oh god, y'all are thinking, not another NaNoWriMo post. It's December for chrissakes. I know and I'm sorry, but we'll all get through this together.

Every year, NaNoWriMo gets a lot of flack, saying that it enables people who fashion themselves as writers when they're really not. I disagree, but that's a subject for a different day. Today is all about why I always go back to NaNoWriMo*.

It's so easy to get stuck on the revision/editing wheel that anyone can get so sucked into it that you can go two years without writing anything new. NaNoWriMo guarantees me that at least once a year I'll create a new novel-length work, which is important since I want to have a writing career.

With this in mind, I use NaNoWriMo to experiment. Whether it's planning techniques or story structure, I make sure that I try something new each year. This is how I learned I was a plotter and that plotcards are what works best. If it wasn't for this, I would never have wrote a novel in present tense.

Just like experimenting takes me out of my writerly comfort zone, so does the deadline that looms over my head each November. There's no fudging it, if I want the winner goodies, I need to complete 50,000 words by November 30th. I can't afford to spend hours stuck in a Wikipedia hole if I want to get my novel done. Since I'm in this for the long haul, meeting deadlines and honing my focus are important things to learn.

For those in the Lurkdom that do NaNo, what drives you to participate in NaNoWriMo?

* And I do. Since my first one in 2009, I've participated and won each year. I even did one session of Camp NaNoWriMo this year.

_____ hit of the day: Blessing by London After Midnight