NaNoWriMo Boot Camp: Why Write?

NaNoWriMo Boot Camp session 1: why are you writing? only on #thewritersaurus #amwriting #NaNoWriMo

Once again, NaNoWriMo fast approaches. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned veteran, I aim to help you get the best experience as possible with my NaNoWriMo Boot Camp.

I myself won’t be participating this year; I will traveling to India. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be joining you in spirit. In fact, I hope to help you prepare with a series of posts that I’m going to call NaNoWriMo Boot Camp. These posts will be short, bite-sized tips, activities, and prompts to help you develop characters, setting, and plot. Some will focus on writing strategies.

You might consider starting by perusing our previous posts on NaNoWriMo, as well as the general archives.

For today’s post, I’d like for you to take a few minutes and contemplate what you’d like to get out of NaNoWriMo this year.

Let’s pause for a moment. I know that no matter what we say or think, deep down inside we’re all hoping that what we’re writing is going to get published and make us rich and famous. And that’s fine as a fantasy, but it’s a problematic motivator: the reason this is everyone’s secret hope is that it seems easy. Well, it’s not. Writing is hard for most people, even those who are published and (if not rich) at least semi-famous. If there’s an “easy-button” in life, writing is definitely not it.

If an “easy-button” solution is your only motivation for writing, it’s going to be that much more of a challenge to keep writing once the writing gets hard.

So acknowledge your base hopes for wealth, success, and power. Then look a little deeper and decide what your real reasons for writing are. Here are some possible answers:

  • You’ve always wanted to write a book, but never felt you had the time. NaNoWriMo is an opportunity to put your goals first.
  • You want to improve as a writer.
  • You want to get the rough draft done as quickly as possible so you can start editing.
  • You want to prove to yourself that you can finish a book.
  • You want to participate in the NaNoWriMo community.

You may find that more than one of these statements fit your motivations, and that’s fine. If they do, I suggest making a list in order of importance.

Knowing your goals helps you understand yourself better and guides your choices as you prepare to write.

What are your writing goals this November? Let me know in the comments. Need help developing a story idea for your novel? Click below to go to the next NaNoWriMo Boot Camp post on story starters

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H. Duke
H. Duke writes fantasy, horror, and more. Her works include the weird west / urban fantasy serial mashup, Jeremiah Jones Cowboy Sorcerer and the Christmas horror collection, Things on the Shelf: Three Tales of Christmas Terror, as well as the forthcoming Pagewalker series. She wrote the first season of Jeremiah Jones Cowboy Sorcerer while living in Arizona with her husband, Giru, and a shiny black dog named Jupiter. To see what she's up to now, visit her website.

2 comments for “NaNoWriMo Boot Camp: Why Write?

  1. Abby
    October 9, 2016 at 7:00 PM

    This is my third year participating in NaNoWriMo. My goal will be 70k, but hopefully I can get higher, like I did last year. I had my novel all planned out when I realized that what I planned out wouldn’t end up large enough for my word count, so I’m trying to throw a story together quickly.

  2. hdziuk
    October 9, 2016 at 7:35 PM

    Thanks for the comment, Abby! Let us know how the new story comes together. I think this is a great example of knowing what you want out of NaNoWriMo and tailoring your strategy to get it.

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