If you have decided to take the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge and participate in National Nonfiction Writing Month or to try National Novel Writing Month, you need to be sure you are ready to write on November 1st. If you don’t spend time now, before these events begin, preparing to write, you won’t achieve your goal of writing a book in a month. So, today I want to discuss a few ways to determine if you are ready to take a 30-day writing challenge.
Ask yourself the following seven questions. If you can answer “yes” to all of them, you are ready to take on a 30-day writing challenge. Not only that, you will more than likely succeed and produce a book in a month.
Have you compiled all your research?
If your project entails any type of research, it will help you write quickly if you gather it all together prior to Nov. 1. Organize it well so you can easily access whatever you need as you write. If you find you don’t have a certain piece of necessary research, don’t stop writing, if possible; instead place a bracket in your manuscript with the words [add research here], and just keep writing.
Have you produced an outline?
Take the time to create an outline or table of contents for your project. I suggest you break the table of contents into smaller bits, like subheadings or titles for each blog post you tend to write a you blog your book during the month. Brainstorm your content and organize it in advance to allow yourself to power through your writing periods without wondering what you will write.
Do you have all the materials you need?
Make sure you have all the materials you need at hand. This includes, of course, your computer. Also consider if your printer has enough ink in the cartridge, if you need pens or pencils, paper, certain books, or a binder for your printed pages. You might also want to stock up on your favorite snacks and drinks.
Have you created a schedule?
One of the most common reason people don’t follow through on their plans to write anything tends to be lack of time or “other commitments.” Plan out your schedule for the next month so you have ample time to meet your 30-day writing goal. Consider what can be put on the back burner for a month, how you will rearrange your life, and in what ways you will make time even when it seems you have none or little for this writing challenge.
Do you have the correct attitude?
Attitude makes a huge difference in whether or not you achieve your goals. Take some time prior to the start of the challenge to consider if you have self-defeating thoughts, such as:
- “I don’t really think I’ll complete my project, but I’ll see how far I get.”
- “I never finish anything I start.”
- “I never have enough time for challenges like this, let alone to write daily.”
- “My writing is no good; I don’t know why I try.”
- “I have nothing to say worth reading.”
If you do, now is the time to change them into positive affirmations. If you believe you can do something, you will—or you’ll find a way. Successful writers have willingness, optimism, objectivity, and tenacity. You will need all of these this month so you:
- Do whatever it takes to meet your goal.
- See obstacles as challenges and meet them head on.
- Offer yourself encouragement, rather than self-criticism, about your work.
- Act with persistence, determination and perseverance.
To learn more about “Author Attitude,” check out my new book The Author Training Manual, or register for Author Training 101.
To find out how to participate in the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge, also known as National Nonfiction Writing Month, click here.
Photo courtesy of jannoon028 / 123RF Stock Photo
Nissa Annakindt says
Not every writer writes from an outline, especially in fiction. I wrote a few outlines over time that killed all desire to write the book in question. One can switch from heavy-outline to sketchy-outline, or simply start out with a story opening and outline as you go along. In my opinion, anyway.
marquita herald says
Great checklist Nina! I’ll be doing the Nonfiction Challenge and I’m almost there – even have the cover designed. Still have a bit of research to do, but I’ll be ready by the 1st.
Nina Amir says
Many novelists write by the seat of their pants, Nissa.
Nina Amir says
Great Marquita! Hope you registered in the forum.
Bonnie Harris says
I am doing my second nanowrimo, I prefer to sit down and write. The outline sucks the joy right out of me, I outline after my first draft.
Nina Amir says
Everyone has their own process…you have to go with what works for you.