Your NaNoWriMo survival guide

If you ever dreamed of writing a book, now might be a good time to finally get it done. Why? November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo to those in the know) and there are some amazing resources online to help you get it done.

The beauty of NaNoWriMo is that we’re not just talking about writing the next great American novel here. You can work on any writing project such as a family history compilation, a charity cookbook, or a children’s book. Business owners and entrepreneurs can create ebooks or guides they can sell or give away that support their business by attracting potential clients or customers.

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, community-supported, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. It started in 1999 and has brought together thousands of authors, and potential authors, as each year they work toward the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. While that many words might seem intimidating, it’s not a requirement. Authorship can start at any level and the resources and community available during this annual challenge will motivate any writing goal.

NaNoWriMo resources

One of your best resources for writing is the internet. Apps that help with accountability and tracking your writing schedule can keep you on track. Websites and online forums can provide motivation and assistance. And email newsletters and blog are a great place for tips and strategies from experienced writers and authors. That’s why we rounded up the following online resources and apps to support your own author quest.

Official NaNoWriMo website: https://nanowrimo.org/. You can sign up to join the challenge, access a variety of resources to inspire and help your writing, and participate in community forums along the way.

For organization: Keeping track of notes, ideas or outlines can be done using the Evernote or Trello apps. They are also good for accountability and teamwork.

Write anywhere: Writing on a Google Drive document means no accidently deletions or lost files and you can work on it anywhere, anytime.

Editing: Grammerly is a great app for checking your work as you go.

Printing and publishing: Once you are done you can turn to a self-publishing, print-on-demand company to turn your finished manuscript into the real deal. You can find lots of information and free resources online with established companies like BookBaby, Vervante, or Lulu.

How to get started writing your book

Staring at a blank screen can be pretty intimating, so if you’re unsure how to get started, here’s a few tips:

  1. Open a blank document in Google Drive, give it a name, and write down your thoughts about what you want to write. Start an outline and jot down any and all thoughts you have about what you want inside the book.
  2. Next, schedule time this month for writing. Treat it with the same respect as doctor’s appointments. Think about the size of the book you want to write, then schedule the amount of time you think you’ll need. Whether once a day, or once a week, you’re more likely to stick to it if it’s on your calendar.
  3. For productivity’s sake, write, don’t edit. At this point, don’t try to be perfect in your writing, just let your words flow. The goal is to produce lots of content you can work with, then go back later to edit and refine it.

With high-speed internet access to writing tools and support sites, and the motivation that NaNoWriMo provides, we know you’ll be realizing your dreams of becoming an author asap. Happy NaNoWriMo – and happy writing!

Kristy CooperYour NaNoWriMo survival guide