NaNoWriMo. I know it sounds catchy, but what does it actually stand for? It’s short for National Novel Writing Month, which is every November. NaNoWriMo seeks to bring a fun and spontaneous approach to novel writing. Presented by the National Novel Writing Month nonprofit, NaNoWriMo is free to enter and prizes are awarded to participants and winners. The competition challenges its writers to complete a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days.
Ellen DeGeneres once said, “Procrastinate now, don’t put it off.” Similarly many writers, myself included, have big writing dreams about “one day” writing “that story.” Time tends to get away from us, and we never have enough time to do everything that we want. It’s understandable that the prospect of writing a novel in such a short time might seem daunting, but it is not impossible. So use all of the tips and perks that NaNoWriMo presents to break free of your procrastination prison, pull that dusty idea off the shelf, and start writing!
Not just for the avid procrastinatior, one of the best things about NaNoWriMo is—you guessed it—the deadline. Deadlines can help light the fire under all of us, forcing us to get to work. Once you decide to go for it, put your all into writing as much as you can. Getting a late NaNoWriMo start? Who cares? Challenge yourself and see what you can do.
Besides the deadline, another important thing to remind yourself of is to set smaller daily writing goals. They can make the thought of writing 50,000 words in under a month less intimidating. If you aim to complete this challenge in twenty days, for example, determine to write 2,500 words, or about 10 pages, every day. Set goals that work for you.
Your novel doesn’t have to be perfect or beautiful; it’s a first draft. Simply finishing NaNoWriMo is an accomplishment in and of itself. Because in the end, you’ll have a creation that didn’t previously exist.
Writing a novel in under a month is doable. Bring that great story idea to the forefront of your mind, tell that little voice inside of you that you refuse to put it off any longer, and start writing!