NaNoWriMo, www.nanowrimo.org, invites you to draft a 50,000 word novel in one month. I’m doing it for the second time, and I’m going for higher word totals than the 1667 suggested daily allotment. I just want this first draft out of my head. I want material to work with.
Not a fiction writer? You can still achieve a 30-day goal with memoir, biography, or any other form of non-fiction thanks to author and writing coach Nina Amir’s WINFIN, http://writenonfictioninnovember.com/about-2/. WINFIN (Write Nonfiction in November) is “an annual challenge to create a work of nonfiction in 30 days.”
The rules are simple: Decide what you’re going to complete and go for it. You can create “an article, an essay, a book, a book proposal, a white paper, or a manifesto” The program “operates on an honor system…no word counts logged in here. It’s a personal challenge, not a contest.” Simply describe the nature of your project and come back at the end of the month and say how you did.
Working on a memoir? Guest blogger Dennis Ledoux provides a day- by-day guide that conveniently runs for 30 days: http://writenonfictionnow.com/how-to-write-your-memoir-in-30-days-2/. November 1 is an arbitrary start date, of course. Pick your own starting day, but pick it soon, and commit yourself to working on the project for the next 30 days. Need weekends off? Commit yourself to working for the next 40 days.
The author of the bestselling How to Blog a Book: How to Write, Publish and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time (Writer’s Digest Books), Nina Amir is a nonfiction editor, proposal consultant, author and book coach, and blog-to-book coach with more than 34 years of experience in the publishing field.
The other day I thought about starting a National Journaling Month. Journaling primes the pump and greases the wheels. It gets writers started. It helps them dig deeper into their thoughts and find multi-dimensional truths. Participants in the National Journaling Month could record daily events, track their eating or exercising or arguing behaviors, analyze and resolve a decision about school or work or parenting, derail a negative thought pattern, or celebrate the joys of life. Journaling is an outstanding preparation for any writing project. It helps you figure out what you really want to say.
Journaling for 30 days can achieve its own set of miracles, just like completing a non-fiction project or even writing a 50,000-word novel. Set a goal. Then share it with a community of writers. You’ll never know what you can accomplish if you dream of writing instead of actually doing it.
B. Lynn Goodwin is the owner of Writer Advice, www.writeradvice.com, and the author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers, available on Amazon. Her stories and articles have been published in Voices of Caregivers; Hip Mama; the Oakland Tribune; the Contra Costa Times; the Danville Weekly; Staying Sane When You’re Dieting; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; Career; We Care; Thickjam.com, Friction Literary Journal, and The Sun.