November is National Novel Writing Month

There is this thing that exists in writer circles called NaNoWriMo. This stands for National Novel Writing Month. It happens every November, with people getting ready in October. There is a whole organization you can find at https://nanowrimo.org/ that will support and encourage you during the month.

This quote is at the top of their home page. Creativity is all around you. Imagine better worlds and invest in your creative energy by writing a novel with us.

You can imagine a whole better world! Doesn’t that just inspire you? Don’t you need that in this dumpster fire that is 2020?

You “win” NaNoWriMo by writing 50,000 words in a month, although you can have other word counts that are lower or higher depending on what you need. You have to add your word counts to your homepage by the end of the day in order to get credit. OR you can just keep track on your own calendar and not sign in to the website at all.

There are also resources and community forums that can encourage you to make your goal. You can make friends and learn a lot about what it takes to write a compelling book.

So, in order to do this whole novel writing endeavor you should be preparing your novel now. No writer sits down and just writes. For example, I typically spend about 4-6 weeks working on my outlines and characters before I write a word of my book. (You can find great resources for this at Author Accelerator and the GREAT plotting book Save the Cat! Writes a Novel.)

BUT! Don’t let that stop you. You probably have a story that you’ve always wanted to write. Maybe a mystery or your memoir or a short romance. You’ve got a week until NaNo starts. You can totally get an outline ready.

It’s also never too late to write a book! There is no age limit. I had been discouraged in my fiction writing by one high school English teacher who consistently gave me zero feedback and low grades and thought that this writing thing wasn’t for me. However, it turns out – as anyone who has had their manuscript rejected by agent can tell you – writing and publishing is a highly subjective industry. Not everyone is going to like your work. Just like not everyone is going to like ham and pineapple pizza. And it’s okay for them to be wrong.

So take the month of November and write! It doesn’t matter if you publish this story or any story. Writing is a wonderfully creative and personal act of self care. And we need every bit of self care right now.

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