National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo, will have writers all over the world holing up in their offices and studios to write. This month, my debut for HelloGiggles (!!!) explains what NaNoWriMo is all about and why you should participate. Here, I’ll be covering a new issue surrounding NaNoWriMo each week of November. To start things off, I’m hearing a lot about people who just aren’t sure what to write for NaNoWriMo this year. “I have so many writing ideas, I can’t stick with one long enough to complete a manuscript! Help!”
I think it’s important to say here that if a writing idea isn’t close enough to you for you to be able to complete its first draft, you probably should move on. Why toil away at something that you don’t have a passion for (especially because there is no guarantee that it’ll ever amount to publication)? Whether you’re just writing for yourself or writing to be published, massive amounts of time go into writing a book. Value your time; work on something important.
I have two or more writing ideas… how do I choose?
If you have two or more writing ideas that you’re really passionate about, but can’t decide which to work on first, I would suggest outlining all of these ideas. See where they’d go as novel-length projects. This often weeds out projects that don’t have passion-longevity. If you’re seeking publication, you’ll be working on this novel for at least two years. Is your excitement for the project going to last that long?
If after outlining all of these potential ideas you still cannot decide which you’d rather work on, try writing the first chapter (or an exciting sequence) of each. The more writing you do, the more likely you are to favour one project over the other.
What if you do this and you still can’t choose? Here comes the hard answer: just pick one and work.
I have an idea for NaNoWriMo, but it won’t amount to 50,000 words.
Have you considered working on two projects? Perhaps write the project and its backstory? Really, the point isn’t to come out of November with a completed manuscript that you can pitch to agents. The point is to write every day, and whether that’s all for one project or for multiple pieces, the work is what’s important.
I have NO ideas for this NaNoWriMo. Help!
I’m all about a brutally honest life when it comes to writing, so it’s time for tough love. The truth is, if you really want to write, you will. It’s as simple as that. You can write in your journal every day if you don’t have a novel idea. Seriously. The point of NaNoWriMo is to write every day, and hopefully meet a deadline of 1,667 words each day. No one ever said that you had to write a novel; that’s one approach. Saying you have no idea what to write for NaNoWriMo, and then using that as an excuse not to participate, is an excuse.
If you want to write, you will. Write a 50,000 word novel, several short stories, a book of poetry, or journal every day. Every moment you spend writing to the best of your ability is a moment that improves your ability.
Fight for what you want.
Have a question about NaNoWriMo that you want answered here? Please leave a comment below!
Author: Bree Crowder
Bree Crowder is a writer and editor with interest in fiction (MG, YA, and fantasy), and lifestyle. Writing, reading, photography, and travel are a few of her favourite things.
She went to university to study English, and then went to college at the post-grad level to study creative writing. Her work has been reviewed by HarperCollins editors. Now, she writes for publications like HelloGiggles, Quirk Books, and Bustle. She is also an Editorial Literary Assistant with P.S. Literary Agency.