When I first took this writing leap, I had so much to learn! All right, honestly, I still do. But I like to think I've come a long way in the last two years.
The first year I seriously tackled this writing plan I kept hear about something called NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. In case you're living under an internetless rock or are like I was, a total novice, here's what it is: every November writers, published and unpublished, dreamers, and anyone who has ever wanted to write a book can participate in the official NaNoWriMo contest. The idea is to write a novel (at least 50k words), from start to finish, in 30 days. Seem impossible? Writers from all walks of life successfully complete NaNo every year. You won't get a spit n' polished version of your book, but it just might be the motivation you need to get the words written.
The official National Novel Writer Month website provides all kinds of fun encouragements. You can find other writer buddies to cheer you on, enter and track your word count and read pep talks to keep you going. With writers all over the world participating, there is an exciting energy and a feeling of being part of something bigger. For many writers, it's just the needed incentive to get seated in a chair and start typing.
But let's say you've already written a novel and are still in the editing process, but you don't want to be left out of the mad writing fun. Not a problem. If you Google "NaNoReviMo" or "NaNoReMo", you might catch a few blogs participating in National Novel Revision Month. This is for people who need a serious motivational kick to get their editing and revisions completed. Last year, when I thought I was going to write a novel, I joined in with a Facebook group who were all in the throes of revision. Every day they posted their progress and group members even donated prizes, awarded to those who successfully met their goals. Maybe this is more where you're at. If you can't find a group, start asking around or start your own-- you might find a few others who want to join you.
If blogging is your writing thing, you may want to jump on board BlogHer's National Blog Post Month going on in October with a fall theme. They offer monthly themes, badges and an official sign up.
Today, I read a blog by She Writes member, Shannon Lawrence, who is working on a series of short stories. She decided November would be her official ShaNoShoStoWriEdSubMo. Huh? Oh, Shannon's Novel and Short Story Writing, Editing and Submitting Month. Whew-- that's a mouthful. If you are working on short stories, get in touch with Shannon for a little motivational writing companionship.
This year, I'm participating in NaNonFiWriMo or National Nonfiction Writer's Month. Yup, there's an official site for this one too. My goal is to write and complete at least one nonfiction submission a week for various anthologies.
There's nothing magical about the month of November, but knowing that other writers around the world will be buckling down to work on their projects may just be the impetus you need to shut out the world and dig into your own writing.
What about you? Will you be participating in a National-Fill-In-The-Blank-Month in November? Why not start asking around. You might find the perfect grassroots or official NaNo group out there for you--or create your own.
The social media world of writers may be awfully quiet during November. You might as well join the writing frenzy!
(That's: National Write Like The Wind Month)
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