This year, I’ve officially signed up for NaNoWriMo again. I briefly considered doing it unofficially, but then I realized that I would be missing out on several benefits that I really enjoy. While doing NaNoWriMo unofficially works for some people, here are 5 reasons to sign up officially. (Sign up here)
When you commit to writing for NaNoWriMo, that’s awesome! Signing up officially makes it feel all the more real. On the NaNo website, you can become writing “buddies” with other authors, and guess what? You can see their daily word count. Which means–you guessed it–they can see yours. If you’re competitive, this can also spur you on. Can’t have a lower word count than your friend, right?
- Posting Your Cover According to NaNo’s website, you have a better chance of completing your novel if you’ve committed to creating a cover for it and posting it to your profile page. Even if it’s a free stock photo and fancy font, it still gives you that extra incentive. Don’t sweat the artistic nature of cover design. It’s not like it has to be the cover you use if you someday decide to self-publish your story. It’s just a point of reference, something to stare at for inspiration as you work.
- Disciplined Writing NaNoWriMo’s website has great tools for those who sign up officially. For example, if you’ve never tried Scrivener, they’re partnering with NaNo to offer a hefty discount to those who win NaNo this year. AND, if that wasn’t sweet enough, they’re offering a free trial to all NaNo participants, which will disappear on December 7th, giving you plenty of time to try it out. Also, signing up officially gives you a place to log your daily word count and an excuse to force the inner editor to go on vacation while your write, keep your seat warm and your coffee mug full, and allow your fingers to fly over the keys.
- Mapping Your Word Count in Relation to Your Goal
As mentioned in #3, there’s a place on NaNo’s website to log your word count. Then it shows up on a nifty graph, explaining where you are and where you need to be to finish on time. This was EXTREMELY helpful for me. So helpful in fact that I found a website that taught me what math to use, and I created my own graph for Excel, so I can keep track of my word count all year long.
- Community You meet new people from your region, as well as other places, and make friends in this otherwise isolated world of writing.