So you’ve got a book idea: congrats! Maybe it’s been rattling around in your head for a few months, or you just got the idea in the shower. Either way, you’re ready to take the next step—writing your novel! Writing a book is no easy task, even for the most experienced writers. Where do you start? How do you stay motivated?
That’s where NaNoWriMo comes in.
National Novel Writing Month (affectionately dubbed NaNoWriMo) is a write-a-thon that takes place every November. Writers from all around the world challenge themselves to start a novel on November 1st and finish it by November 30th. Participants have a support system to help them along the way as they churn out a 50,000 word manuscript. With countless resources and uplifting new friends, you’re bound to show your book idea who’s boss.
So, what are the pros and cons? NaNoWriMo works best for writers who want to hit a specific word count. The November 30th deadline is meant to encourage you, not bring additional stress. If you prefer to write and edit at the same time, NaNoWriMo might not be for you. On the plus side, you’ll have a community to share this experience with and learn from.
Not convinced yet? Bestselling novels like Water for Elephants, The Night Circus, and Fangirl were all written over the course of NaNoWriMo. Yours could be next! If NaNoWriMo sounds like it’s for you, read on for our best tips.
Make a Schedule
If you’re going to hit 50k+ words, a schedule is absolutely necessary. NaNoWriMo recommends you write 1667 words per day. However, it’s important to plan ahead for days where you’ll be especially busy. Designate days where you plan to write more or less. And if you’ve got free time, keep writing!
Utilize the NaNoWriMo Website
The NaNoWriMo website offers plenty of free resources and tips for writers. You can update your word count, watch pep talks from esteemed authors, and earn special badges for your profile.
Don’t Go It Alone
Stay connected with other writers during NaNoWriMo. The NaNoWriMo website makes it easy to connect with fellow challenge-goers, but you can also check out apps like Twitter and Facebook and find other writers through hashtags and groups.
Plot What You Need
Make sure you’ve got a good idea of where you want your story to go. This doesn’t mean you should get caught up in the details. When it comes to NaNoWriMo, you’re focusing more on quantity than quality. Spend time outlining before November, and let the words flow when you begin.
Enjoy your time writing and interacting with a community of like-minded people! NaNoWriMo is meant to energize and support you in the novel-writing process. Practice self-care during the month so you can stay in the right headspace.
By Sydney Meve, Intern