Let this be the year you finally write your novel!
Are you a writer, determined to enter the 2021 National Novel Writing Month challenge this year? This self-challenge, is also referred to as NaNoWriMo, NaNo, and several other variations that are meant to represent the phrase.
There is lots that you can do in advance to prepare for NaNoWriMo, so it's never too late to try and get ready; just as long as the competition hasn't begun yet.
I won't be entering again this year, but I plan to share lots of information, before, during, and after, based on my past experience as a 3-time participant.
An Important Key to Success
The first thing I want to bring up is probably the main key to whether or not you’ll succeed. That key has to do with your daily routine.
Clearly, a lofty goal like writing 50,000 words in thirty days is a goal that demands some kind of logical schedule.
This is something you need to give serious thought to.
My advice is to start determining what kind of regular writing schedule you can commit to in November. If possible, try to get on that same schedule now, or just as soon as you can.
That will definitely make it much easier for you, once the competition begins.
Once the challenge begins, you’ll also need to have a writing agenda to help you kick things off.
It’s important to keep in mind that the schedule and agenda are not the same. But even though the two are different, they work together.
- Your writing schedule will require determining a time of day (if possible, the same time every day) and the amount of hours you plan to write.
- Your writing agenda will consist of what part of the story or book you plan to work on and get finished for during the allocated time.
You will need to get used to acknowledging both of them on a daily basis. Learn to wake up with both your writing schedule and your writing agenda for the day already in mind.
NOTE: Of course, some people’s regular (non-writing) work day won’t allow them to prioritize book writing before everything else. But even if you have a secular job to go off to, all throughout the day, you can think about what you plan to work on, once you finally sit down to your writing session.
Just like our other routines in life constantly need adjusting, your writing schedule and agenda may require occasional adjusting, but that’s okay.
As long as you have a plan to begin with, it’s alright if you have to modify it from time to time. Also, if you make sure you create a reasonable schedule and agenda at the start, you can save yourself from lots of unnecessary adjustments.
Don’t think about how much you would like to accomplish in a given period, think about how much you can realistically get done, in the time you have allotted.
I was able to successfully complete two different manuscripts in two years, by relying on a set schedule and agenda, and yes, I also had to make modifications whenever needed.
Even though I didn’t stick to my original writing schedule, just having a schedule at all really helped me to complete my novels.
You can be able to say the same thing, if you approach this in a practical way.
Start thinking about these 3 questions:
- What time is of day or night do you realistically have the most free time to write?
- Does the free time that you have available coincide with your most creative time of day?
- What time of day or night can you probably manage to snatch a little more free time, even if it’s just 15 minutes or half and hour?
Fiction writing and writing your first novel is a huge undertaking. Even if you’ve been writing non-fiction and personal essays on Medium for a while, you will still find the book writing process to be challenging.
That is why the time you take to think about and answer the above three questions should not be taken lightly.
If you honestly plan to enter the 2021 National Writing Challenge, you will definitely need a plan of action, no ifs, ands, or buts.
- Figure out what your writing schedule for the month of November can realistically look like.
- Take into account that November has one of the most popular family holidays. Be sure to factor your necessary participation in holiday celebrations into your potential writing schedule.
- Try and create a schedule that you can start sticking to now, long before the competition starts.
- Pay attention to the upcoming segments in the rest of this guide, so you can know how to create a practical writing agenda to complement your writing schedule.
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