What is NaJoWriMo?
NaJoWriMo is based on the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge. NaJoWriMo is useful for new and veteran journal writers. This month-long challenge is great for those who want to get started with journal writing, but have been putting it off for various reasons. It’s also useful for frequent and veteran journal writers looking to use NaJoWriMo for improving their journal writing or focusing on a particular journal writing project.
NaJoWriMo will be held four times year: January, April, July, and October. This site will share journal writing prompts, journaling projects, and links to other journal writing sites and coaches. NaJoWriMo seeks to contribute to a growing journal writing community, and is especially targeted toward people who are new to journal writing.
As NaJoWriMo kicks off its first month this year, now is a good time highlight why participating in a month-long event is useful goal and project. Similar to the reasons for doing NaNoWriMo, there many reasons for doing NaJoWriMo.
1. You want to start journal writing.
Maybe you did journal writing in school and you want to start doing it again. NaJoWriMo provides a great opportunity to do so. Too often we put off things we want to do until we have a good reason do them. Well, NaJoWriMo can provides that purpose.
2. You want to build a journal writing habit.
The best way to build any habit is to perform the task or activity repeatedly until it becomes almost second nature. Journal writing doesn’t always need to be a daily exercise, but thirty straight days of journal writing certainly can help you develop a habit for doing it on a regular basis after completing NaJoWriMo.
3. You want to become a more fluent writer.
The best way to build your writing skills is to write every day. It is as simple as that. The more you write, the more you will build your writing fluency. You may also want to take on the advanced level of NaJoWriMo, which challenges you to write 15,000 words in your journal by the end of the month. That’s 500 words per day. It’s a lot, but it’s doable, especially if you want to stretch your writing muscles. Plus, the more you write, the more you learn about yourself and the topics you’re writing about.
4. You want to discover the power of journal writing.
Once you start journal writing on a regular basis, and it’s not for the purposes of an academic grade or job, you will eventually begin to see the power of writing to solve problems, build self-expression and self-esteem, document and explore your feelings, and to see how writing can actually help you learn about yourself, other people, and issues and problems you are concerned about.
5. You want to accomplish something.
The best way to build self-esteem and become more productive is to accomplish small and large goals. NaJoWriMo is a nice size challenge that won’t take up too much of your time, and the project doesn’t last that long. It last just long enough to form a habit and gain a sense of accomplishment.
6. You got a new a new journal/notebook or app.
NaJoWriMo provides an excellent opportunity to get started writing in a journal notebook, or a journaling app that you received as a gift, or that you recently purchased.
7. You want to start documenting your life.
Writing in a journal on a regular basis is like taking snapshots of your life as you live it. While selfies an other types of photos are very important, the words you write about yourself can reveal so much more than photos. And when you by chance revisit your journal entries months and years later, you will be surprised by how you have grown and how you have met many of the challenges in your life. The more you keep a journal, the more you will learn about yourself over time.
8. You want to get a good start on your New Year’s resolutions.
Though NaJoWriMo will be held four times a year, the month of January provides an excellent opportunity to set new goals and expectations for yourself. The first journaling prompt for NaJoWriMo will be about setting goals and/or reflecting on the goals you have set for yourself this year.
9. You want to develop some discipline.
Similar to forming a journal writing habit, completing NaJoWriMo helps you develop discipline by completing an activity that you have committed to doing. It’s a good idea to schedule a particular time each day of the month to actually sit down and do 10 to 15 minutes of writing. Setting aside this time might mean not watching a television show, or waking up a little earlier to accomplish the task. But each time you complete a journal entry, you are building discipline. NaJoWriMo is a goal you set for yourself, and for no one else. So you will only disappoint yourself if you don’t complete the daily writing. But don’t let that happen. Thirty days of journal writing is not impossible to do. Here are a few suggestions for how to complete NaJoWriMo.
10. It’s fun.
Yes, journal writing can actually be fun, because you can write whatever you damn well please. You can admit you darkest secrets, you can curse out your friend or parents, you can tell nasty jokes, you can describe your wildest fantasies.
Take ownership of journal writing. Let it be something you look forward to doing. If what you’re writing about makes you constantly feel bad, stop writing about that topic. Instead, write about your dreams, your fantasies, and what you’re thankful for.
Happy journaling during NaJoWriMo. You’re about to do something you’ll be proud to look back on, and proud to participate in. Encourage others to do the same.
Ready to get started? Here’s what you will need to prepare. Read more information here about the levels of journal writing for NaJoWriMo. Let us know how NaJoWriMo is working for you. Photo Credits Photo: Markus Spiske / www.temporausch.com