6 reasons to participate in NaNoWriMo (even if you're not writing a book)

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I’m not one for too many “shoulds.” I wouldn’t want you should-ing all over yourself.

Last year I participated in National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. It’s a writing challenge that happens every November.

 

The goal: 50,000 words (roughly the length of an average novel) in 30 days.

This works out to 1,667 words a day if you write every day for the 30 days. You could batch write and get a bunch done at once too if the daily writing doesn’t work for you.

 

If you’re reading this thinking, “I don’t care about this Jacq, I don’t want to write a book.” That’s cool too. Your NaNoWriMo challenge doesn’t need to be 50,000 words toward a book. Instead, you can write 50,000 words of whatever the fork you want.

You could write 30 blog posts, 15 blog posts and a mini book, a series of tiny books, some words for your website, some emails for a nurture sequence or all of the above.

 
In 2017, I prepared for it, and I did it! I didn’t hate my life either. You can read more about how to prepare and how to do it while growing your business and keeping your sanity over here.

 

I’ve yet to finish and publish that book. That’s what November 2018 is for! That’s right. I wrote a book last year and haven’t touched since, oh, November 30, 2017. Instead of writing 50,000 new words, I’m going to edit and let’s be real, rewrite those 50,000 words I wrote last year.

Going into NaNoWriMo, I was writing something every day. Whether it was ghostwriting blog posts for a client, email sequences, sales pages, or course copy, I was writing. 

For NaNoWriMo, the writing was different, and I was surprised at all the benefits that came out of writing every single day for a specific project.

Even if you’re not writing a book, the benefits of doing NaNoWriMo are rad. 

1. Focused writing time
Every day our brains are stretched and pulled in a gazillion directions. Spending time each day focused on a single project did wonders for my focus.

2. You’ll dedicate more brain power than you realize
Because I was visiting chapters of my book each day, I’d find myself thinking about the book all day long. Ideas would come out of nowhere—while driving, cooking dinner, making coffee. Once you start planting those seeds in your brain, the ideas flow like a faucet. Even when you thought you shut the tap off. I think this makes the finished project that much more amazing.

 3. A new creative practice
Do something every day for 30 days consistently and you’re going to create some new habits. Imagine what a daily writing habit could do for you and for your business. This thought really blows my mind. And now, I write something for myself, a personal project, or my business, every single day. It’s a new creative habit that’s increased my bottom line. NaNoWriMo-MONEY!

4. You’ll unlock new parts of your brain
Okay, so I don’t know if this is technically true but it feels like it. Suddenly after focusing on a topic, or a series of topics on a single theme, you’ll get ideas that seem like they came from way out in left field. You’ll wonder, “Where the heck did that idea come from?”

5. You get to finish a big project
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0,000 words is a big project, and by focusing your writing efforts to a single month, you’ll be more likely to keep the momentum going since you’ll be concentrating your efforts to a relatively short time frame.

6. The words are already in you, you just get to let them out
This little reframe is just one of my mind-hacks to make writing feel easy and fun. Imagine—your 50,000 words are already inside of you. You just have to sit and let them out. They’re not going to be perfect when they fall out of you. That’s what SFDs and editing are for.

 

If you liked this article and are thinking about participating in NaNoWriMo, first, read this article on how to do it while growing your business and staying sane. And then, check out a new community I created just to help you with your writing goals. It might be just the blend of fuel, fire, and focused on-demand feedback to keep your writing project on track.