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National Novel Writing Month has begun, and many novelists swear by this writing challenge for inspiration and productivity. But NaNoWriMo isn’t for everyone. Maybe you write but you’re not a novelist. Or maybe you’re not ready to commit to the intense schedule and word count deadlines that are the hallmark of NaNoWriMo.
Whatever your reason for skipping the NaNo-mania, you can still experience the camaraderie of writing with a community of authors who are working toward a common goal by participating in one of these alternate events:
What To Do In November BESIDES Write A Novel For NaNoWriMo
1. Write Nonfiction In November (WNFIN). If you would rather write in the nonfiction genre, this event is for you. Register to write an essay, article proposal, or other nonfiction project, and you’ll enjoy community support, plus a website chock-full of tips for nonfiction writers.
2. NaBloPoMo. National Blog Posting Month challenges you to write a post a day. Not sure you can come up with thirty blog article ideas? Don’t worry—this page has a helpful list of daily blog post prompts and motivational notes, and bloggers are encouraged to share their finished products. (Psst—need more ideas for blog posts? Check this out!) Whether your blog is your livelihood, a hobby, or a marketing tool for your book or author website, NaBloPoMo can help you become a better blogger and grow your following.
3. PAD Challenge. Though this challenge officially takes place during National Poetry Month (April), you can still embrace your poetic spirit this November and write a poem every day for a month. The official blog of the Poem-A-Day Challenge offers writing prompts and resources, and it even features some participants’ poems.
4. EBookWriMo. Instead of creating a magnum opus, National E-Book Writing Month challenges you to write a compact, 20,000-word e-book. This post walks you through the process from start to finish. EBookWriMo is a great way for writers to gain experience with the process of researching, writing, and self-publishing!
5. 750 Words Challenge. With a website that promotes “just-because” writing, the 750 Words Challenge invites writers to sign up free for the month of November and privately pen 750 words (three pages) per day, on any subject. You’ll never be required to share your writing, though there is a system of rewards and consequences for each day to keep you motivated. The site also provides tools to track your emotions, preoccupations, and time.
6. NaNoEdMo. This challenge is slated for March but its goals are useful all year round: NaNoEdMo is for writers who have already completed a manuscript but need time or motivation to prepare it for submissions to literary agents. Instead of encouraging authors to write a new book, NaNoEdMo asks participants to focus on editing and recommends a time commitment of fifty hours over a monthlong period. NaNoEdMo’s blog includes advice from published authors and goodies for participants.
And If You’re Ready For A Longer Commitment…
7. A Round Of Words In 80 Days. Marketed as “the writing challenge that knows you have a life,” ROW80 is a challenge for busy but focused writers. Set a writing goal—any goal, so long as you can measure it—and work to achieve it within one of ROW80’s four periods. Weekly check-ins track progress, and participants are accessible via social media.
8. 52-Week Short Story Challenge. Created in homage to writer Ray Bradbury, this challenges you to write a story, of any length and topic, every week for a year. Bradbury famously said, “The best hygiene for beginning writers or intermediate writers is to write a lot of short stories…doesn’t matter what the quality is to start, but at least you’re practicing.”
9. 365-Day Journal Challenge. Keeping a journal—whether of ideas, daily happenings, dreams, etc.—can be immensely helpful for writers. This list of innovative prompts asks you to write a journal entry every day for a year.
Whether NaNoWriMo is for you or you opt for one of these alternate challenges instead, make time to write something new this month—and take advantage of any and all support systems available—including Writer’s Relief!