What is National Novel Writing Month?

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Happy Halloween everyone! I hope your day will be fun and only the the good kind of scary. Speaking of fear, I have just signed up for my second round of NaNoWriMo to push myself to finish my novel. Since I know many people with writing aspirations, I’d like to share this in hopes of inspiring others to get out of their writing slumps.

I love to write! But life can get in the way… I thought that publishing my short story this year would motivate me to finish my novel. But I have only written 1,654 words this entire year. Recently, I stopped writing all together and have only gotten back to blogging a week ago. Now, I’m ready for the next step!

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. It’s a challenge that over 300,000 writers take on each year, to write 50,000 words in 31 days. It sounds absolutely insane but let me explain it a little.

Writing is a long process that involves multiple rounds of editing and rewrites. This can discourage people from the first step of actually bringing pen to paper (or fingers to keys). So the purpose of NaNoWriMo isn’t to have you write a novel that is ready for publishing. It is to encourage people to record all those thoughts that are buzzing around in their heads.

The goal after 31 days, whether or not one reached 50,000 words, is to make progress either in the form of story notes or ideally, a rough draft! I used NaNoWriMo to motivate me back in 2015 and I managed to finish the first draft of a story that I had been working on for years. This year, I’m hoping that it can help me get me back to writing.

Anyone can join NaNoWriMo before or after November 1st. When you join, you add information about the project that you are working on. Every day, you are encouraged to update your progress in terms of word count. Remember, the goal is just to write and keep writing, not to be perfect!

You can join groups and discussions on the NaNoWriMo website that can help you stay motivated and get inspired. You can follow NaNoWriMo on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well. You can also connect with people through the website and you can follow me and my progress here!

My tips for this challenge are simple:

  1. Don’t stress yourself out because if you do you’ll quit before you’ve even started.
  2. Set aside time to write whether it’s in the morning, before bed or during your lunch break. You know when you’re most inspired so do what feels “write.'”
  3. Do your best to write every single day, even if it’s just a sentence or two. This will help keep you motivated and thinking about your story!
  4. Celebrate your progress! Writing 100 words of a tough chapter is just as impressive as writing 1,000 when you’re in the full swing of things. Always take the time to pat yourself on the back.
  5. Just keep going. If you miss a day, don’t fret. You can keep trying again! Here I am, writing after an eight-month hiatus. Just keep trying!
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