November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and every year thousands of writers take part in the NaNoWriMo Challenge by trying to write the rough draft of a 50,000-word novel within the thirty days. It’s a big accomplishment for those who finish, and some of these writers go on to get their book published and have a lot of success as a writer.
You might know me from working at Lincoln Township Public Library, but I also have done a lot of writing in my spare time. I have written three books, as well as articles for the Herald Palladium, and I’ve used my role at the library to be a proponent of helping aspiring writers.
That’s why this year, I decided to run the NaNoWriMo Challenge here at the library. However, I realize that not everyone has time to write 50,000 words in one month, nor does this fit within the writing goals of some of you writers out there. That’s why, to complete our challenge, we’re letting you set your own writing goal and then try to achieve it within the month of November.
Whether you like to write fiction, nonfiction, poetry, blog posts, or children’s books, I’m hoping that you will take this opportunity to work on a great writing project this month. Everyone who finishes can report their progress to our circulation desk and get a completion certificate, as well as an entry into our grand prize drawing!
To help you achieve your writing goals, here are some tips that I believe will guide you towards becoming more successful:
- Write about what you are passionate about! You’ll have the most success if you are interested in your writing topics and/or genres.
- Set writing goals that are both clear and realistic. You want to be able to look back on the goal you set and see that you were able to accomplish exactly what you wanted to in a timely manner.
- Read a lot, especially about the writing process. Learn as much as you can about both the writing craft and the world around you. Of course, the library can always help you with that!
- Make your writing unique. You want your writing to be different from what else is out there, both in style and in content, so that you can make a name for yourself.
- Outline your ideas ahead of time. You want to have some direction when you are actually writing your piece of work.
- Make time to write every day, only if it’s for a few minutes. You need to get into the habit of doing this constantly in order to get better and to achieve your goals.
- Get out of your comfort zone. Find some challenging writing prompts, even if it’s on the side, to stretch your brain and become a more well-rounded writer.
- Always carry paper and pen with you. You never know when you’ll come up with a good idea, and you don’t want to forget it!
- Proofread your work. Once you’ve completed a project, step away for at least a day or two, and then come back with a fresh perspective, both in terms of grammar and content.
- Find someone you trust to provide you with honest feedback. If someone is just telling you that your work is great without helping you make it better, then you need to find another person who wants to see your work improve!
- And finally, don’t stop after November 30! If you’re doing a NaNoWriMo project, hopefully that will either launch you into even bigger and better things!
I hope to see many of you at the library throughout the month of November participating in this program!
Brian Johnston, Adult Services Librarian