Why NaNoWriMo?

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-SquareSo NaNo is upon us! I have a new plot and characters and world to explore. And it will be awesome!

So why do I do NaNo? What makes this different from the rest of the year?

Well, for me, part of it is the challenge. During the rest of the year, I set my own goals and I can, well, I’m a little lax about necessarily meeting them. I’m getting better at it, but NaNo is a hard goal. You have to meet it in order to say you did it. There’s no “well, it’s okay if I don’t get it done by the end of the month; I’ll just finish it next month”. It has to be done now.

And part of having to get it done now means that I feel liberated to just do. I’m a horrible perfectionist. I can, and do, mess with sections over and over and worry at them all the time until I drive myself insane. You don’t have time to do that during NaNo.

Further, this means you can give yourself exploration time. I have an idea. A germ of a plot and characters that should follow that plot. But NaNo is a time where I can let the characters branch out a bit. Maybe what I think is going to happen won’t. Maybe I’ll find out it’s not going to work. Maybe I’ll find something better. It’s happened before. A previous WIP underwent a complete overhaul when one of the characters rejected a more complex background for a much more simplified and fitting background. It did mean a bit more work to figure out new plot points and how characters would interact, but I’m a lot happier with the piece, although it’s still sitting on the back burner (it’s still a touch too slice of life for my tastes and I’m not sure how to fix that part yet).

And that’s the sort of thing NaNo can teach you and help you do. Explore. Create. Go without the boundaries and borders that we normally think about with writing and just find out what’s in our minds.

You might be surprised at what you find there.

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