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Things I Love about NaNoWriMo (2020)

So since I’ve already given you a weekly update what with hitting the 50,000, this is going to be something a little different.

Plunging straight into the top 5 reasons why I love NaNoWriMo in all its mad glory and why writing 50,000 words alone would never be the same:

The project area.

Okay, whoever developed this was brilliant, because in addition to the cover, synopsis, and book excerpt you can display just like a published novel, the site has a place to link a “soundtrack” and Pinterest board to give people clues about what you’re writing. This makes me happier than I can say.

Why? The first year I did NaNo, I had one song someone left on my thumbdrive that I liked. Thomas Bergersen’s “Into Darkness.” I listened to that song every time I sat down to write on the floor on the carpet in my bedroom for most of the month. It fit the novel, in a weird sort of way, and even now, I can’t hear that song without thinking must go write…must go type something fabulous…The next year, it was Ailee singing from The Arthdal Chronicles…the TV series which sadly I still haven’t seen. I listened to other music that month, but that was the one that sort of attached itself to Tales from the Legendarium. This year? This year I actually made a YouTube playlist of things I was listening to. Nothing’s really struck me as fitting the story though. No one song that I’ve listened to again and again. Medievalpunk world soundtracks are somewhat hard to find, I guess. Still, it’s not over yet. Perhaps I’ll find one I love.

Suggestions, anyone?

The forums.

I’m not particularly a chatty person, but I love that there’s somewhere all the writers can rant if we need to. The Spork Room and “Current Mood toward Your Novel in a Picture or Gif,” in particular are favorites. It’s wonderful to have people around who know what you’re going through, and can cheer each other up as we charge into the fray.

I started a thread this year dedicated to all the nice things people do for their writers during November. Why? Because while we like to shout at the top of our lungs how hard and wonderful it is to do this crazy thing, the people who make sure our lives aren’t (completely) falling apart in the meantime are something of unsung heroes. Little unexpected kind things really make NaNo all the better.

My first post in the thread in the early days of November. Okay, yes, maybe I just wanted to glow over how nice someone had been. A little bit.

The challenge.

Sometimes you have to make yourself believe you’re really slaying a dragon before something will feel exciting. Before you can find the gusto to do it. The challenge of the 50,000 isn’t the only one–the site has badges of achievement for every step in the word count goal…and some just for how you write (Plannter? Pantser? Plantser?)

There’s also a badge for self-care. Making sure writers don’t entirely forget about their health.

I have never deserved that badge. Never. I am a very bad example. Take better care of yourselves than I do.

Styling my handmade tea tankard here. It is as gigantic as it looks. Apologies for the photo quality…another reason I don’t use my own pictures much. The mug reads “My best friends are from Books.” Something happened with the glaze and it ran into the letters a little like a melting candle…go get yourself an artist friend who knows you well enough to make splendid mugs.

The stats for keeping you on track.

It’s a little thing, but it makes a big difference. Instead of just a single drop into the waterfall of a novel, every day you write, you can see yourself making progress. More words added to the pile.

There are the two regular charts:

Even if you don’t write for a day, this one still shows you how much you’ve written so far.
I confess, I love this one because with my irregular habits, it almost always ends up looking like a really scary heart monitor.

…and then the ones about writing speed, where you write, when you write…

Like I said…I have never in the history of ever deserved the “Writer Wellness” badge.

Lest we forget: The Novel

Writing 50,000 words come what may is what NaNoWriMo is all about. I never believed I could do it until three years ago. I didn’t even bother to try. It seems like a huge feat, but in reality, it’s just 1,667 words every day (give or take). People speak more than 7,000 words a day on average (or so Google says. I’m betting mine is much lower). So why not pin some of them to a page? Tell the world stories?

I’m not trying to push anyone into NaNo. I just hope that all the writers out there will realize what I did–nothing is really impossible if you give it a chance and go for it. The written world is waiting for you. In your very fingertips.

And that’s it!

That’s my top 5 favorite things about NaNoWriMo. I’m sure I left something fabulous out. So feel free to remind me, or share what you love.

You know, between all the writing.

Happy November, everyone!

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