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Welcome to November, aka National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo. No, I am not participating this year. I still have tons of work to do on the novel I’m already trying to write. However, I wanted to do something special to mark the occasion, so I’m blogging every day this month! Woo! Welcome to Day 1.

I thought we’d talk about NaNoWriMo today, since that’s what we’re celebrating all month, so let’s go!

What is it?

NaNoWriMo is a challenge that comes around every November, where participants write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. It’s open to all ages and participation is free. You can sign up on the official website and let them track your progress, or you can just write on your own and keep track of things yourself. I don’t think there are any physical prizes for reaching the word goal, but there are some virtual ones. They also have a lot of sponsors that offer deals on writing software, courses, and other things. You can see more about those here.

There is a lot of material to cover regarding the history and rules, and I’m not going over all of that here. Check out their FAQ if you need more information or advice.

If you’re looking for a lighter version, you can check out Camp NaNoWriMo. Camp happens in April and July, and it’s aimed at meeting writing goals. Participants aren’t locked into a 50,000 word count. You announce your project, set your goal, and get to work.

My thoughts

I’ve never participated in NaNoWriMo. Rushing through a story hasn’t appealed to me in the past. I thought about doing it this year so I could blog about it, but I need to finish the novel I’m already working on. Maybe next year. I do have friends who have joined, and I know two people who have actually made it to the word goal.

If I ever do get around to participating, I think I’d try to prepare ahead of time by coming up with an idea and a couple of characters, and maybe an ending. I mainly write fantasy or sci-fi, though, and 50k is like half of a fantasy novel, so I may not need to worry about trying to come up with an ending ahead of time.

I’m not someone who outlines or plans before I write. If you are, you should start on that ahead of time, too. Some writers do their NaNoWriMo planning in October so it’s good to go on November 1.

Once I had my characters and a rough idea figured out, I’d set word count goals. If you want to make it to 50k, you need to plan to write about 1,700 words per day (I rounded that up, btw. The real number is 1.66666 to infinity). If you don’t write every day, you need to come up with a routine and break that 50k up into manageable chunks.

I hope you have a great time writing.

Best of luck to everyone who is participating this year! I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines as I try to complete my own bulky manuscript.

Come back tomorrow for a post about writing faster. That’s right, tomorrow! If you have any questions or anything you’d like to add, please check out that comment box below. And, as always, if you like what you see here, be sure to use those social media buttons to share this post with your writer friends. Thanks!

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