Writing the Great American Novel in 30 Days

I am preparing for my second attempt at NaNoWriMo. November has been deemed National Novel Writing Month and the goal is to write a novel (estimated at about 50,000 words) in 30 days. Last year I persisted for eight days before I gave up. I didn’t get very far because I was just free-writing, but this year, I’m determined to finish. I am ramping up with a story outline and character ideas.

I'm using RocketBook to help organize all my ideas.

I’m using RocketBook to help organize all my ideas. This was my first brainstorm of what to write about in November.

I have always loved to write stories since I was a child. In third grade I wrote a story that was chosen to be performed by the local theatrical troupe visiting my elementary school. It was based on the board game Candy Land, imagining a world where the characters came to life. I was thrilled to watch my story performed. That was just the beginning of love for writing and creating stories.

In college, I continued taking creative writing classes while I studied Journalism. Currently, I’m a Project Coordinator by day and reader and blogger by night, but I haven’t lost my love for writing stories. I’m just a bit rusty now. While most of my blogs focus on book reviews and events going on in my life, I felt it was time to explore my more creative side.

My struggle is deciding where to start. Do I want to write a cozy, or a coming of age novel, or a memoir? Should I go all Hemingway in the movie Midnight in Paris? “If you’re a writer, [slams fist on table], declare yourself the best writer.”

With less than 30 days until the start of the challenge, I want to mentally prepare for the writing marathon of the year. I spent the last two weeks going over possible story ideas in my head. After listing out ideas and talking to friends, I finally decided on a topic on which to write. I realize that it might change over the course of NanoWriMo, but that’s OK, it’s a start.

My next step is to actually create a NaNoWriMo account, so I can find support and stay on track. I don’t know anyone personally who is also working toward this goal, but it’s nice to know that there is a community of writers and supporters out there. Please cheer me on as I struggle to write my own Great American Novel.

Hemingway provides some encouragement to stay focused this November.


For more information on NanoWriMo, visit https://nanowrimo.org/

Cost: My sanity for the month of November

Drink of Choice: Lots and lots of hot coffee

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