Three Reasons to Try National Novel Writing Month While in College

Why National Novel Writing Month?

As I’ve mentioned before, college is an incredibly stressful time for anyone. Those of us who enjoy writing have a slight advantage over those who don’t, since we tend to find the fun in lab reports and research papers as best we can. We chalk it up to a learning experience and possible piece to show to potential employers.

But how many of us can say that we’re writing something we really care about?

You see, that’s where NaNoWriMo comes in. It doesn’t matter what genre you choose, there’s a spot for it in this challenge. 50,000 words in 30 days, all on a project that you love and feel inspired to write. So, here’s three reasons why college is one of the best times to try this out:

1. You can write anything you want to!

While traditionally a month for writing a short novel, there is a growing group within the community that have called themselves “NaNoRebels”. Blogs, screenplays, you name it and someone is probably writing it. You have complete freedom over your own creative process, limited only by what your imagination can bring to the table. After so many strict guidelines for what your professors expect, this is a perfect way to relax and recharge, while still keeping those writing skills sharp.

 2. It’s a perfect way to network and meet other writers.

Everyone says that writers thrive on readers, and this is very true. However, there is another important thing that most writers find a need for: a support group. Whether it’s someone to commiserate with, or simply someone to cheer you along when your energy starts to flag, knowing at least a few people that you can share your experience with does wonders for getting a story done and out there for the world to see. This is even more important for writers in college, because we tend to need that extra push to get anywhere if it doesn’t involve studying for exams or social time!

3. It’s the best test of time management skills you will ever have.

Quite a few college students, myself included, have difficulty with time management. Some of us thrive on deadlines, while others are simply burnt out from all the work they do and can’t find it in themselves to do any more. For those of us who are time challenged, NaNoWriMo is a perfect motivational push. The average daily word count (1667 words per day) can be reached in just an hour and a half for the average typist. Add another hour of staring at the screen, wondering what to write, and that’s a nice chunk out of your day. By making yourself take that time out every day, not only are you racing to meet a deadline, but it puts pressure on you to make your study time more efficient. And by the end of the month, you’ll have both a completed first draft and some new study skills under your belt!

Your Turn

Have you done NaNoWriMo before? If so, what did you do to make that extra time in your schedule? And if not, do you think there is enough room in your schedule to fit that much writing time? Comment below!

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