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What is NaNoWriMo? What You Need to Know and Tips to Conquer Your Writing Goals

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Can you believe next Tuesday is November 1st! It’s almost time for NaNoWriMo!

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What, what the heck is NaNoWriMo?

Oh, my apologies! You’re probably just getting to this site, and here I am talking like you know what’s going on. Let me explain.

Every November, there’s the National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short.

Oh, I see! An acronym! But, still, what is it?

I’m getting to that. 🙂

NaNoWriMo is a community of writers that get together and work on writing a novel. For 30 days, they all work on writing 50,000 words, the average length of a novel.

So, you spend a month writing a novel? By yourself?

Nope! Okay, you could spend time writing at home if that’s your thing. But the best part about NaNoWriMo is it’s a community of writers. There are meet ups all around the world, so you could connect with other writers either online or in person.

Oh, that sounds neat! Oh wait.

Wait what?

Is 50,000 words long?


I won’t finish in a month!

Yeah, you will. Broken down, each day you should write about 1,667 words. That’ll get you to the 50,000 goal. If you’ve been working on writing 500 words a day, you could push yourself to adding three times that amount.

That’s the purpose. It’s a marathon to get you to your writing goal. It’s meant to test your limits and commitment so you can finally finish that novel you’ve always wanted to.

Wow. You know what, that doesn’t sound that bad. How do I sign up?

You can sign up on NaNoWriMo’s website. It’s free. You create an account, write the name of your novel and a short description (if you have one), and then get ready for November 1st.

Nice! But how do I get ready for November 1st? It’s less than a week away. Now I’m freaking out!

Please don’t freak out. The best way is to plan out your novel. Take a day or two to think about characters, plot, and chapters. Flesh out as much as possible with your characters, set up your beginning, middle, and end, and a short outline of each chapter until everything is in place. That way, you’re not going into this blind.

Don’t make that mistake like I did the last two years and jump in. I’ve got an outline and chapter summary all set up. Believe me it helps!

Super! Are there any prizes for finishing?

Yup! On November 20th, participants upload their manuscript to NaNoWriMo to validate they’ve written 50,000 words. There’s a whole list of discounts, free goodies, and prizes for winners located here.

Dang it! I really don’t have a novel to write. 🙁

No sad face! I have a tip for you if you still want to participate in NaNoWriMo.

You might not have a novel, but why not participate and work on shorter stories? Short stories are about 7,500 words. That’s about seven you could write in a month. Got seven ideas? It’s a great way to get your brain to work on something else so you’re not easily bored.

Flash fiction is usually 1,000 words. It won’t get you to 50,000 (I mean, 1,000 times 30 days is 30,000, obviously). But, it’s an easier writing challenge you can take on.

See? There are plenty of ways for you to participate, even if you don’t have a novel. It’s all about making it manageable for yourself, committing to it, and having fun!

Nice! Thanks for the tips! Are you participating?

Yes! You can find me on there are MrsFink1981. Let’s connect and help each other get to our writing goals!

All right! Let’s do this!

Great! I’ll be posting my updates next month here, so sign up for my newsletter below so you don’t miss out. If you’re on Twitter, I’ll post on there daily, so follow me there.

Until next time, cheers!


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