November celebrates the best of autumn things: warm drinks, sweater weather, the changing of the seasons. It’s also the perfect opportunity to put your writing to the test. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is the time of the year when writers can come together and encourage each other to write. Whether you have decided to embark on the adventure of writing your first novel or you are a proud veteran of the craft, NaNoWriMo is wonderful for anyone who wants a community with whom they can imagine and create. For those who want an official place to participate, NaNoWriMo’s website allows writers to create a login that helps them track their progress and have discussions with other online community members. Of course, if you prefer to work offline and on your own, NaNoWriMo is also perfectly suited for the solo writer.
As someone who will be participating for the first time this year, I highly encourage everyone who is interested in writing a novel to participate as well. Fifty thousand words can be quite daunting, especially if you have never written anything that long before. However, it is certainly possible, and there is a whole community of writers out there to cheer you on. I definitely recommend taking it one day at a time—and remember to have fun! There are no rules or guidelines telling you what you have to write about. Your novel is your opportunity to express yourself and allow others into your creative world.
If you do not have an idea for your story in mind, that is totally okay. There are several online resources that can help with story and world building if you need inspiration. For example, Plot Generator allows you to choose what kind of piece you are working on and gives you a form to fill out. This form can be useful in helping you consolidate ideas about your characters and plot. Plot Generator also allows you to go completely random and will populate all the fields for you. You can also search online for character sheets that allow you to come up with well-rounded characters by asking questions about their personalities.
Whatever you decide to write about, just keep in mind that it is the process that counts. Do not get hung up on editing while you write, wondering if something sounds silly, or second guessing if your plot has too many holes. Just have fun and enjoy the experience; you can always go back and edit later. Find a space that you feel comfortable in, but be careful—you do not want to be taking naps or getting too distracted while you write. Perhaps you have a favorite soundtrack that will help keep you motivated while you listen, or maybe you prefer complete silence. Do you have friends who also like to write? Consider forming a NaNoWriMo buddy group! No matter what your ideal writing environment is, do what works best for you.
I hope that you join me in this writing adventure. Best wishes and happy writing, friends!