Did You Miss NaNoWriMo? Don’t Let That Stop You From Writing Your Novel!

January 3, 20235 min. Read

NanoWriMo is national novel writing month.

Whether you’re an aspiring or seasoned writer, you probably have plenty of exciting ideas for potential novels. But writing, editing, and publishing a book can be difficult and time-consuming. National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, allows writers to face this challenge head-on. During this annual event, writers race to produce 50,000 words of a new novel in 30 days.

NaNoWriMo only takes place in November, but you don’t have to wait until the next event to start your novel writing journey. You can borrow NaNoWriMo strategies to write your dream book at any time of the year.

What Is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo is a yearly writing challenge established in 1999. Every November, hundreds of thousands of writers (known as “Nanoers” or “Wrimos”) sign up on the nonprofit organization’s website to participate in the free event. The goal is simple but ambitious: crank out 50,000 words of a novel between November 1 and November 30.

Participants can tackle this goal in several ways depending on their personal writing process. People who want to establish or maintain a consistent writing routine can produce 1,667 words daily for 30 days to hit the 50,000-word target. Other writers prefer to write in less frequent but more extensive bursts throughout the month. The NaNoWriMo website allows all participants to track their growing word count, so it’s easy to stay on track.

It’s important to note that writers don’t have to produce a perfect, polished novel during NaNoWriMo. Instead, the event motivates participants to get as many words down on the page as possible.

Types of NaNoWriMo Participants

NaNoWriMo attracts all levels of writers, ranging from people who have never written creatively to bestselling authors. The organization has also created a Young Writers Program that allows children, teenagers, and K-12 educators to participate.

You don’t need any prerequisites to join these programs, so NaNoWriMo is an ideal way to hone your writing skills. And even though the word “novel” is in the name of the event, you can write a book in any genre, including nonfiction books like autobiographies and self-help guides.

Many Nanoers have published novels that they started during NaNoWriMo, such as:

  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • Wool by Hugh Howey

Using NaNoWriMo Novel Writing Strategies All Year Round

Did you miss the most recent NaNoWriMo? You don’t need to delay starting your novel until the next event. The goals and techniques that enable people to succeed during NaNoWriMo can help you successfully write your book whenever you want.

Here are a few NaNoWriMo survival strategies that you can use for year-round book writing:

  • Set manageable daily or weekly writing goals to avoid feeling overwhelmed
  • Outline your novel’s key plot points before you start writing
  • Find an online support group of fellow writers on Discord, Twitter, the NaNoWriMo forums, or other platforms
  • Prioritize writing by adding it to your daily schedule
  • Free up your mind and time by saying no to unnecessary obligations and drawing on your support network to help with tasks like childcare and chores
  • Use playlists, candles, and other sensory cues to get in the right headspace to write
  • Resist the urge to edit your manuscript until you’ve completed a full first draft
  • Download browser extensions and mobile apps that help you focus by preventing you from visiting distracting websites during writing sessions

Above all, the most important lesson from NaNoWriMo is just to keep writing, no matter how insecure or demotivated you may feel. Remember, you can spend as much time as you want editing your writing later, so concentrate on finishing your first draft.

Other Techniques To Set Yourself Up for Novel Writing Success

Book writing is only the first step to publishing a novel. After you’ve completed your preliminary draft, you can use these methods to prepare your book for publication.

Edit Your Manuscript

When you wrap up your first draft, you should step away from your manuscript for a few weeks so you can return to it with a fresh perspective.

Once you’re ready to start editing, read through your manuscript at least once without making any changes. As you read, take notes on areas that you need to improve. For example, you may discover that you forgot to wrap up a few essential plot points or that you can trim a few scenes to make your novel flow better. It’s best to focus on big issues during the early editing stages instead of correcting small mistakes like punctuation errors because you may end up rewriting significant portions of the text.

After you’ve made your first rounds of edits, you can seek feedback from beta readers, your writing group, or a developmental editing team like the pros at Palmetto Publishing. These friendly critics can help you reevaluate your novel from the reader’s perspective and make improvements.

Publish Your Novel

Once you’re satisfied with your novel, it’s time to publish it. Writers have two main options: traditional publishing or self-publishing. Both avenues can lead to success, but they have unique benefits and disadvantages.

Traditional publishers have a dedicated team to edit, design, and market your book. They’ll handle everything from the cover design to the marketing plan, but you may have little say in these crucial decisions. You’ll also need to pitch your book to traditional publishers. This querying process can take many months and may require the help of a literary agent.

Self-publishing offers authors more freedom. You can control every aspect of your novel’s design and production, and you’ll retain a larger portion of sales profits. However, you’ll also need to invest much more effort, money, and time into preparing and marketing your book.

Get Support While Writing Your Novel

The NaNoWriMo approach can help you jump-start your novel writing process and give you the motivation you need to produce a draft quickly. Simple strategies like creating challenging but achievable writing goals and finding a supportive writing community can set you up for success in November and beyond.

As you craft your novel, the experts at Palmetto Publishing can assist you at every stage. Our top-tier publishing team provides a wide range of services, from formatting your book layout to book printing. Get in touch today to learn more about our affordable and fast self-publishing services.

Related Articles