November has come and gone, but what are you planning to do with that manuscript you started for NaNoWriMo 2016? How are your going to keep your NaNoWriMo inspiration alive into the new year?
For those who don’t know, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is a “competition, challenging writers to buckle down and write 50,000 words in a month. While that might seem ambitious (1667 words a day!), for many of us it’s the perfect motivation to start a new project, complete a book, or finish up an existing project.
The organization (http://nanowrimo.org/) specifically encourages writing a novel in a month. But they’ll also be the first to tell you; writing is writing, and it’s all good! The competition is self-driven. You challenge yourself to achieve your writing goals. Support and encouragement comes from other NaNo writers striving for the same goal. I know I’m a big procrastinator (“I’m not in the right mood to write,” “Its too nice outside to write,” “I’ll just watch an episode of my favorite TV show, then I’ll write”), so the goals, the support, the word sprints (timed writing sessions with smaller word goals), as well as the imposing progress chart help keep me on track.
Eleven months out of the year, I’m happy with 5,000 words in a week. That’s good progress to me. But come November, I crank that up to almost 12,000 a week. For me, its the time of year when I start the novel I’ll be working on for the coming year. In November I aim to create a stripped down, 50,000 word version of my complete story, or to write the first portion of the story. A couple of years ago, I was so happy with my NaNoWriMo piece, I left it as a novella topping out at 55,000 in the final draft!
However you use the motivation, the real point is to be motivated! NaNoWriMo lets you update your word count (I like to check mine daily) and see the progress. Now, if you look at my chart, you’ll see I didn’t hit my goal for the month, finishing more than 10,000 words short. I don’t let this slow me down though. Because the point is just to push out as many words as possible in a month.
And now, with the competition done, its time to print that book and have a look at it. I print my manuscripts as 8.5 x 11 Coil Bound Paperbacks (for around $10.00 you can get your 50,000 word Nano script printed and shipped from Lulu). Then I can review it, make notes, make changes, and move that story to completion.
Last year’s NaNo project is today a 120,ooo word novel, its been through two full revisions, and is going through the last round of reviews before it’s ready to be called complete! All because I challenged myself to hit that 50,000 word goal last November.
That can be you too! Keep your NaNoWriMo inspiration going into the new year. And Lulu is here to help you take that great start and turn it into a published novel once the writing (and editing) is done.
Paul is the Senior Copywriter at Lulu, responsible for all the words you see on our site (misspellings included). In his free time, he’s an avid reader and short story writer.