Seven reasons NaNoWrimo is great fun!
1. Lots of writers writing all across the world. If you are a person who works better with groups or with the social pressure of knowing other people are out there writing, NaNo provides that.
2. 50000 words is a lot of words. Depending on your genre, it may not be a whole book. It may be half a book or a third of a book. But it's 50000 more words than you started the month with.
3. There are charts! Do you love charts and graphs of progress? NaNo has these. It recalculates based on your progress.
4. There are write ins and parties and other gatherings of writers. If you've never done a write in before, I suggest trying one. Often, once you've dragged your butt to the coffee shop or library or wherever, I feel motivated to have words written before I leave. If it doesn't work, now you know more about your process.
5. There are sprints! There's a sprinting tool on the website, and also sprints running on Twitter throughout the month.
6. You are encouraged to write without editing. This means you can do silly things like bracket things you already know you're going to delete later, but still count them towards your total.
7. NaNo attracts writers throughout the spectrum. There are folks who literally decided yesterday they were going to do this, all the way up to published writers. Remember the bright eyed enthusiasm you had when you first thought, "I'm going to write a book!" NaNo can help you get back in touch with that.
Seven reasons NaNoWrimo may not be for you:
1. It's a really fast pace. It is not everyone's ideal pace. I will tell you, I almost always have one day where I get nothing done, and a few where I don't hit the target. But aiming for that goal is helpful. I once tried doubling the pace, and the book I wrote was a mess, and not in a good way. If you've never tried this pace, I recommend giving it a shot.
2. If you are used to editing as you go, it may be really hard for you to not edit. Again, I recommend trying. But there is also a thing called NaNo rebelling, and you can do whatever makes the most sense for your process. Be open to not editing. But if it's holding you back, then be a rebel. They still let you come to the write ins.
3. November may be a crap month for you work wise, home wise, family wise. NaNo also runs a Camp NaNo in April and July if those are better for you. I do November even though it's a short month and there's a holiday stuck in the middle. I usually find I do almost nothing writing wise in December, but Januaryish when things start to get back to normal, having a story ready for my fresh eyes is good. Also, if you get say 25000 words in the first half, then that's still progress.
4. You're a pantser who digs yourself into big plot holes. I'm a pantser and I do often find I run out of plot in week two. And the pressure of NaNo makes me invent something new to get me out of the hole and keep going. But, you may be a writer who writes yourself into a hole and needs a week of TV to get yourself back out. And then the pressure of the ticking clock may not be useful to you. I've been told plotters don't have this problem. Is this true plotters?
5. You became a writer so you didn't have to talk to people. And I keep talking about meetups and write ins and talking to strangers on the internet. If all these extra people sound like too much, you can avoid them, I promise. I like people. But you can do NaNo and tell no one. You can do NaNo, sign up and never go to a thing, never check the Twitter. It's up to you.
6. You are a real writer who does not need a stated event to write books. Cool! Good for you. I also like writing books in months other than November. But – and I use this example a lot, runners can run on their own and they can enter marathons. Both are valid ways to be runners. You can still be a writer if you never NaNo. You can also be a writer who NaNos.
7. You hate arbitrary numbers. Look, I don't know why they picked 50000 words either. But make your own goal. Or write 50000 knowing you will need more or less to do it.