1. You’ve never been able to finish a novel. Let’s be clear. You’re not going to leave NaNoWriMo with a ready-to-publish masterpiece. You will, however, make it all the way from “Once upon a time…” to “…happily ever after,” and that’s an amazing feeling.
2. You don’t have a writing support network. Or, at least, you don’t have support network like the NaNo network. Literally, thousands of people will cheer you through NaNoWriMo. They’ll join you in the teeth-gnashing and the triumphs, the weepy worries of week two, and the wonder of week four. You ain’t never had a friend like 300,000 writers working towards a common goal.
3. You say “but” a lot. There are no buts allowed when you’re writing 50,000 words in a single month. So just stop. Hundreds of thousands of other people have managed to do this. You can too. This is your chance to prove it to yourself.
4. You’re really hard on yourself. The best thing about a tight deadline is that you don’t have time to second-guess yourself. That can be a huge blessing for a writer prone to self-sabotage. And, let’s face it, we all are.
5. You haven’t tried it yet. There’s a crazy energy in the air during NaNoWriMo, and if you haven’t done it before, it’s worth doing just for the experience. Who knew tapping away at a keyboard could provide an adrenaline rush?
After all that, you’re probably wondering why I’m not doing NaNo this year. I have a lot of reasons, but it comes down to: been there, done that. After nine successful novel-writing Novembers, I’ve managed to nail down a process that allows me to write year-round… except in November, when my business takes center-stage. Rest assured, I’ll be cheering hard from the sidelines. And even better, Palimpsestic donates a percentage of revenue to NaNoWriMo’s parent organization, The Office of Letters and Light, every month! I may not do NaNo myself anymore, but I believe in the magic of it, and that will never change.