Kickstart Your Writing with Nanowrimo

By Brittiany Cahoon

If you find your writing suffering lately–perhaps due to the shifting weather and gray skies–Nanowrimo may be just what you need.

Founded nine years ago, the yearly “write a novel in a month” event will have more than 100,000 participants from across the globe trying to write 50,000 words in the month of November. That’s over 1500 words a day, or just over four pages of typed text.

It sounds crazy and probably is, but Nanowrimo teaches important writing habits that no fiction writer can afford to ignore:

1. Discipline: Assuming full-time novelists write one or two books a year, that writer probably writes somewhere between 500-1000 words a day. Forcing yourself to write more is like the old story of the marathon runner training with weighted shoes. Once the handicap comes off, you’re even faster.

2. Ignoring the internal editor: With a quota of four pages a day, you can’t afford to be a perfectionist. Your writing will be full of typos, spelling errors, and idiotic dialogue. Here is a sample from a participant of previous years:

“I think I am going to go to lunch now.”

“Lunch? Now?”

“Yes, I think this would be a good time.”

“A good time? Why do you think it is a good time?”

“Because I am hungry, and I am bored.”

But by allowing yourself to write crap you also allow yourself to write, which is more important.

3. Losing control: Many new authors try to control the plots of their stories and novels, resulting in deus ex machina situations, wooden characters, or unbelievable twists. Writing this fast forces you to give up control and simply write what comes–which can later be edited into something readable without losing the spontaneity and realism in your rough draft.

Nanowrimo novels often stink, but participating is a wonderful way to practice the writing habits you need every day of the year.

To learn more or to sign up, visit http://nanowrimo.org.

Click here to get access to 800+ interactive grammar exercises!


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9 Responses to “Kickstart Your Writing with Nanowrimo”

  • twoluvcats

    there’s also a NaBloPoMo too!

    http://nablopomo.ning.com/

  • Swadesh Ch. Das

    I am a computer professional. I wanna write well.
    How could I develop my writing skills ?
    What can I do now ?

    Thanks

    Swadesh Ch. Das

  • Daniel

    Swadesh, write and read as much as you can. And keep an eye on this blog as well 🙂 .

  • Rachel

    Swadesh, in addition to what Daniel said, it helps if you immerse yourself in the type of writing you want to do. Instead of reading just anything, read business books. Read technical manuals if that’s the kind of writing you’re trying to get into. It may not feel like it, but you’ll be subconsciously absorbing the “rules” of your particular genre and soon you’ll be able to spit ’em back out without thinking.

    Good luck!

  • tony lupini

    hi my names tony i know were a prity small toun (battle creek, MI) and even a smaller sCool distric (battle creek public schools) and even a smaller school (spring feild middle school) but we as a school acomplished the most amazing feet so amazing that we might of made histery so good that we were reconized on a world wide web sit we were the frist school not just in our citeyjust in our state amazingly not just in our country but we were the frist school world wide to as an entire school typ for nano wrimo a truly amazing “feet” no please email me

  • Vicky Pino

    Although I do sometimes suffer from writer’s block, I write every day for at least two or three hours. The best way to clear your mind and set it ready for meaningful writing is to start with what I call Morning Pages. On them I write whatever passes my mind without even minding about punctuation or spelling. Then, I go to whatever I’m writing. From these Morning Pages when rereading them I’ve found good ideas for a story.

    Cheers

  • Lynn Jordan–AuthorsToolsBlog

    NaNoWriMo is a great way to send your internal editor on vacation and complete a rough draft.

    This will be my 6th year. I’m really looking forward to it. Fortunately, in Oregon, November is usually dark and stormy. Perfect noveling weather.

  • Natalie

    Hello! I’m Natalie and I am, unsurprisingly, an aspiring writer. I’m still in high school–an upcoming senior–but I find no wrong in getting started early. Any writing tips whatsoever would be highly appreciated–I take what I can get.
    Thankyou!

  • Kristen Haskell

    Daniel and Rachel that is great advice!

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