November is National November Writing Month (NaNo). Every November, writers can choose to join the NaNo challenge.
What’s the challenge you ask? Well to write a book with 50,000 words. Now you can write more but if you write less, it’s not considered a NaNo win. However, countless authors join (officially or unofficially) so that readers can get their hands on new stories.
My first time I joined NaNo was in 2015. I decided to write a story called, Buying Love (Maple Run #1). Wouldn’t you know it, I won. I was so happy. Later it was published by Celebrate Lit publishing and then eventually I received my rights back and indie published it. Eight years later, Buying Love, remains the only book I won NaNo challenge with. However, it’s not the only book that had a rough first draft started in November.
I went on to start books titled: Enduring Love (the 3rd book in the Maple Run series), Risking Love (the 4th and final book in the Maple Run series, and An Unlikely Alliance (published by Love Inspired).
This year I’m working on a secret project that I’m super excited about. I’m hoping to write 60,000 words for the month and have a finished project (well, a rough first draft) by the end of November.
So how will I do this?
1. I figured out how many days I plan on writing (I don’t write on the weekends and I’m taking time off for my kids Thanksgiving break). Then I figured out how many words I want to write (see above goal) and then that allows me to set a daily goal. Having a daily goal is huge for me. It helps me feel victorious if I exceed the daily goal, and gives me a breather on the days I didn’t quite meet the goal but am still on track thanks to going beyond the goal.
2. I figure out who my characters are before I ever start writing. It’s part of my prep anytime I write a book, but especially important for NaNo because writing pace is more accelerated. I’ve already got a secret Pinterest board with inspirational photos picked out. I also have a list of potential names for secondary characters (the hero and heroine are already named) thanks to my awesome street team. I know the setting, know their jobs, the rest will be made up as I write.
3. I’ll have writer friends who will encourage me and support me. One of my critique partners is jumping into the fray with me, but I’ve got other close friends and writer buddies who will be taking on the challenge. Having a cheering squad when you are victorious on daily word counts and when you need that extra push to continue is invaluable. They’re the heart that keeps me going.
4. Design a cover! This part is fun and reminds me that this is a real story that I want to be published (an exact when is TBD). Plus I just plain love designing covers.
5. Tell my followers! Having accountability is really helpful in meeting goals. Knowing many of you will encourage me, pray for me, and of course, look forward to reading my written NaNo project will remind me this story ultimately is for you.
Speaking of you, how about a NaNo challenge for you! The challenge is to write a review for at least 7 books. If you don’t end up reading seven books this month (after all, Thanksgiving does take some of our time), then reach out to seven authors and let them know how much their writing means to you. I guarantee they’ll be grateful, and as November is also thankful month, it fits the theme. :)
Tell me, which book will you review first or which author will you reach out to?