How to Spend National Writing Month (If You’re Not Doing NaNoWriMo)


My character, Anastasia Knight.

Well, Halloween has passed and November has come. You know what that means.

Now, don’t jump the messenger. You may be thinking, “What writer doesn’t do NaNoWriMo?!”

Please, don’t.

I’m not going to try do deter you from doing your 50,000 novel. Please, by all means, write, write, write. What I’m going to tell you is five things to do during November, which is National Writing Month, if you’re not doing NaNoWriMo. In case you didn’t know, it’s the month where thousands of writers sit down on their laptops and write a 50,000 word novel in one month.


To me, here’s the thing about NaNoWriMo: it’s the month where writers are super productive for one month, and then they slack for the rest of the year. They also might write sloppy work during this month in the hurry of finishing the draft. For me, writing used to be about the word count, and although I still enjoy my progress and keeping up the amount of words in my novel, writing my book is about completing it in a smooth, coherent flow.

However, others excel and love the challenge of NaNoWriMo and keep up the extensive work throughout the year. Some write their best work during this month. Many love the anticipation.

So, instead of writing a glowing letter about how I love NaNoWriMo or a “hater letter” about how I dislike NaNoWriMo, I’m going to give you something a little more productive.

Let’s get back to the main topic. NaNoWriMo isn’t for everyone. For those who aren’t participating in the challenge, here’s how you can productive in your writing this month:

  1. KEEP WRITING YOUR NOVEL! If you’re in the middle of writing a novel and going at a certain pace, do not try to change your pace for NaNoWriMo. You will mess up your rhythm and possibly your novel. NaNoWriMo is for new novels. Don’t stop your novel and start a new one just for this month. Be encouraged! You can finish your novel; don’t worry about how fast you do it.
  2. Write a letter about your appreciation for writing. Why do you love to write? Why does writing make you excited? Composing a letter with your thoughts and sharing them with your friends and family might make them have a better appreciation for writing!
  3. It’s National Writing Month, so go read some books. Go enjoy what others have written. Analyze their works and see why they’re so successful. Be inspired!
  4. Write a short story. Using your characters, write a small story and share it with the world. Or, write a funny story about writing. Dive into the habits of writers and use exaggerated characters. It’ll make people smile. Write something short and punchy. Pour your heart into it and edit it until you’re blue.
  5. Finally, if you haven’t started writing a novel, try researching for your upcoming book in a month. No, it’s not quite as intensive or as exciting as writing a 50,000 word novel, but if you make a goal to research your book, you’ll be ready to start your novel by December and the new year and can go at your pace. Perhaps spend thirty minutes to an hour a day researching and gather information; before you know it, you might find yourself with a truckload of resources and a great knowledge of the history you’re writing about or your world that you’re going to create.

I truly believe there’s pros and cons to NaNoWriMo. On one hand, it’s a great motivation to write and a wonderful opportunity to share your work with others. On the other hand, it’s the month where writers hurriedly write a first draft of a novel, and it’s a mess to clean up. Hopefully, you’ll excel and not crack under the pressure. Remember, production is not always about how much you produce. It’s the quality of the stuff you write that matters!

Whether you’re researching a novel, reading some books, writing a 50,000 word novel, or sharing your love of writing, enjoy November. Glow with the pride of being a writer. While you immerse yourself in the festivities, keep your eyes open for clues to the Quest for Publishment, because they might be right in front of your eyes.

Until next time,



5 thoughts on “How to Spend National Writing Month (If You’re Not Doing NaNoWriMo)

  1. Pingback: NaNo 2013 Day 3 | Side Quest Publications

  2. Pingback: Three things I’ve learned about myself this week | A.K. Anderson | Science Fiction and Fantasy Author

  3. Pingback: The Most Important Thing When Writing a Novel (Yes, the Most Important!) | questforpublishment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s