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What’s the Point of NaNoWriMo? Reach the End.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell began as a NaNoWriMo project….

We’re only a few days into National Novel Writing Month—if you’re churning out a daily word count, congratulations! Keep up the good work.

If not, there are plenty of days left to meet the soft NaNoWriMo goal of completing the first draft of a 50,000-word manuscript before 11:59:59 pm on November 30.

National Novel Writing Month is an international phenomenon when thousands of writers across the globe commit to completing an ugly first draft of a book-length manuscript. A 501 (c)(3), NaNoWriMo’s website offers the option of signing up for an account, which will allow you to track your progress, set milestones, connect with other writers in a vast community, and participate in events that are designed to make sure you finish your novel. And it’s all free!

Social media, as we know, can be a real distraction, which is why we recommend using the app from one of our Fall Conference sponsors, Freedom, which can:

  • Block websites and apps or the entire internet if you want to. With your distractions blocked, you can get into your workflow and stay on task.
  • Helps break the habit of checking whatever digital source is beckoning. The more you experience Freedom time, the more you’ll find it indispensable.
  • Treat your email like a mailbox (the mail comes and goes once a day) and enjoy your social media proactively on your time (not in respond mode.)

Think you might be able to achieve your NaNoWriMo goals with help from Freedom.to? Click here.

Lest you think NaNoWriMo is for “armchair” writers only, projects such The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern; Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen; and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell were all started during NaNoWriMo.

And may we offer one friendly reminder? The purpose of National Novel Writing Month is to write: write through to the end. Don’t worry about how good it is. Don’t worry about if it’s holding together. Don’t worry if your characters change names 50 times or drop out of the story completely. The goal, when you wake up on the morning of December 1, is to have a rough draft of a 50,000-word manuscript to build from.

After that? We recommend the Critiquing and Editing Service, a program of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, which pairs author manuscripts with a good editor for one-on-one feedback on their work.

No one sits down and writes a perfect first draft. Your only goal this month is to reach the end!

Godspeed.

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