Today is November 1st, and do you know what that means?
We’re beginning NaNoWriMo!
If you’re not familiar with National November Writing Month, it’s a global challenge to write a 50K novel throughout the span of November. It’s typically used as a means to motivate people to finally write and complete the book they’ve been stuck on.
NaNoWriMo is a fun and motivating challenge for all writers—fiction and nonfiction alike! It’s encouraging to participate in a writing event with so many others. And it’s the perfect opportunity to write without the fear of editing and publishing.
NaNoWriMo is best for improving your creative juices and forcing you to write with the sole expectation that you write.
In heart of a new month and the start of this challenge, we are providing three tips to help you start your writing journey today.
1. Set Aside Time to Write Every Day for 10 Days.
It’s cliché. We know it. You know it. Everybody knows it. But it’s true.
Setting aside time to write will help you do that—write.
Add it to your calendar. Post a note to your mirror. Do whatever is necessary to remind you to write for the day. You may have to sacrifice TV time, or wake up earlier or stay up later than normal. But if you’re serious about writing—and making progress on a book!—then you must respect your writing.
2. Do NOT Edit.
NaNoWriMo is solely about writing. Not editing. This is a time for you to spit out all the thoughts, ideas, specific phrasings you have in mind and to splatter them onto your page. Your work will be messy, chaotic, full of grammatical errors and misspellings.
That’s the fun of NaNoWriMo! You’re writing! Embrace the chaos and disorder and just write! Leave editing for later.
3. Figure Out What Motivates You, and Keep It Handy.
Participating in NaNoWriMo is like setting a New Year’s goal. We’re excited, pumped, energized, and ready to make headway on our book. And we maintain that energy for the first day, probably the second and third day as well. But by the end of the week we start to drag.
And then ten days pass and we hit a bump in the road. Something falls flat. Or our ideas start to shift altogether and it's overwhelming to find a way back.
We meet the two week mark, and we’re drained. We don’t have the motivation nor encouragement to continue to write. So we stop, we take a day off. Which turns into two days off, and then three. And then we decide that this year wasn’t our year.
Rather than giving up completely, prepare for the barriers ahead of time. Seek support and accountability up front. Whether that be a friend or family member checking in with you once a week. Or maybe you post an update to your social media accounts every few days. Or you can print off an inspirational quote and stick it on your desk.
Figure out what works best for you—what will motivate you when you feel like giving up.
A reminder: While NaNoWriMo is focused on achieving a specific word count, we want to gently remind you that writing—whether that’s fifty words or 50K words—is an impressive and triumphant feat in and of itself. Do not beat yourself up if you’re unable to achieve the specific word count. Do not beat yourself up if you don’t finish your book by the end of November. We are firm believers that taking the time to write is far more important and helpful in the long run rather than simply meeting a word count.