It’s November and time for NaNoWriMo, that hideously named but well-intentioned event: National Novel Writing Month. The event, which is international despite its name, began in 1999 in SanFrancisco, with just a handful of writers. You can read more about the history of the month at nanowrimo.org, so I won’t bother to give more details about it here. The important part of NaNoWriMo is this: it is fun to write, and it is more fun to write when you have a group of other writers surrounding you.
While NaNoWriMo is focused on novel writing, and states that its goal is for people to write a 50,000 word first draft of a novel from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30, I would suggest that even if you are not a budding novelist, you can make use of this month.
My goal for the month is going to be to blog daily on the topics of creativity and writing. If I write 500 words per day that will be 15,000 words. But I don’t think a mere volume goal is enough for a month of labor. So my second goal is to develop my ideas on creativity into my fourth book. I’ve always been fascinated with the concept of creativity: What is it? How do we find it? Are we just born with it, or can we develop it? And most importantly, how do we get it back when we lose it?
So what is your goal? It doesn’t have to be a 50,000-word novel. If you are a fiction writer, you may love to write novels or you may prefer short stories. Your goal might be to write a short story a day. Personally, I think I could spend a year working on one short story and never finish it, but I know people who love the genre, so if you are a short story writer—go for it! If you are a nonfiction writer, what do you want to write and what form should it take? You may want to write a workbook, a textbook, a self-help book, a memoir…the list can go on and on. If you already have a book in the works, maybe an unfinished first draft, or an unpolished second draft, your goal might be to complete your editing. Better to finish the project you have already started than to start another.
So the first step is to set your goal. What do you want to write this month? The next step is to develop a plan. Sit down and decide when, each day, you will write, and how much you will write. I mentioned that my goal will be 15,000 words in the month. While that may seem like a cop out (do people still use that 1960s phrase or have a just dated myself) for a professional writer, it is realistic with my current schedule. And that is an important part of meeting your goal: Make sure it is realistic with your life and your schedule. The final step is accountability. Telling others about your goal is one of the best ways to reach it. But just mentioning “I’m going to write a book this month,” to your buddies in the lunchroom is not accountability. You need a support group of other writers who are also working on a similar goal.
That’s where we, at Open Door Publications, can help. Tell us about your goal. If you would like to receive daily tips on how to accomplish your writing goals send an email to info@OpenDoorPublications.com. Or just tell us more about what you are working on this month. Send a tweet to @Publisher_KHM, send an email to info@OpenDoorPublications.com, write a post to the ODP’s Facebook page. Let’s all join together and spend the month of November writing!