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Day 1: Overview of NaNoWriMo

If you are here, I hope that means that you decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, or at least you’re seriously considering it. Congratulations! Committing to this challenge was a huge step for me. It helped me to feel more serious about my writing and to get a lot of practice in the craft.

Some of you may be encountering NaNoWriMo for the first time, so I thought I’d start with a brief overview of what Nano is and the specific steps you can take now to get started.

The heart of the challenge is to write a 50,000-word novel in the month of November. While that was the original intent of the challenge, it is perfectly acceptable to write 50,000 words of anything. For example, I’m going to dedicate this November to short stories.

Since 1999, NaNoWriMo has been challenging writers to step fully into their creativity. In 2016, the challenge attracted 384,126 participants. Nano has led to thousands of success stories and at least 250 traditionally published novels, including Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.

The NaNoWriMo official mission statement is:

National Novel Writing Month believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.

What you can do now to get started.

Fill out your profile on NaNoWriMo.

Announce your 2017 novel.

Select your region.

Get inspired. has plenty of additional resources to help you get prepared and motivated.

Sign up for local (see your region) and online events.

That’s it! You should now be prepared to take advantage of all that has available for you.

Check back into tomorrow when we’ll be talking about setting your goals for October.

If you’re not already on the “31 Magic Days of NaNoWriMo Prep” mailing list, sign up here. Looking for more support? I coach writers on the Nano process. Check out my services here.

Here are links to all of the other articles in the series:

Day 1: Overview of NaNoWriMo

Day 2: October Goals

Day 3: Research

Day 4: Premises

Day 5: Conflict and Stakes

Day 6: Character Development

Day 7: World-Building

Day 8: The Shitty First Draft

Day 9: The Myth of Time Management

Day 10: November Goals

Be sure to also check out the 5 Epic Clues to NaNoWriMo Success webinar.

Happy writing!


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