Somehow November has become a big writing motivation month. You can take your choice of different programs with various goals. All of them involve writing regularly.
The grandaddy that started it all is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Basically, your goal is to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November; so, you don’t have to write every day, but you’re better able to keep on pace unless you’re someone who writes in massive spurts of productivity and then require a rest.
There’s a great sense of camaraderie and mutual support with NaNoWriMo, and the organization sends out some stellar motivational pieces. Even if you don’t write a novel or attempt 50,000 words, it’s worth signing up. You might find so much inspiration and motivation that you’ll start planning now to do NaNoWriMo next year.
I’ve complete NaNoWriMo several times, although only twice did I attempt to write a novel. I never completed the entire novel in those 50,000 words, and I never went back and tried to whip them into anything, although I puttered with the first one for awhile. Later, I used the 50,000 words as my goal but worked outside the constraints of a novel; I was writing so little throughout the year, I used November and my word goal to catch up on everything I hadn’t gotten around to journaling. In 2007, I posted some of my output on SalmagundiExpress, but I’ve migrated those posts to this site; take a look, if you’re interested.
In 2009 I decided to do National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo. I just didn’t have the time or energy to invest in NaNoWriMo; I was still struggling with a new job, among other things. However, with NaBloPoMo I needed only to write a blog post each day, no length requirements. I never posted anything on the NaBloPoMo site, but I was able to keep up with the daily requirement. I’ve also migrated my 2009 NaBloPoMo posts to this site.
This year I’m doing NaBloPoMo again, and I’m cross-posting on the site as well. Even though we’re three days into November, you can still sign up for NaBloPoMo until 11 p.m. EST on November 5. The whole point is blogging for blogging’s sake, but it’s got the same spirit and sense of motivation as NaNoWriMo. Jump in while you can, or at least go to the site and discover some great blogs.
Robert Lee Brewer at Poetic Asides runs two poem-a-day, or PAD, events each year. The first is in April for National Poetry Month; the second is in November. The November PAD includes a chapbook contest for poems composed during that year’s event, with a month to revise your collection before the December 31 deadline. You can choose to post your poem each day in comments, or not; see the November PAD Chapbook Challenge guidelines here.
I’m trying to do the November PAD, but just at the fringes. My focus is on NaBloPoMo, so I’m taking very brief, rough runs at Robert’s daily poem prompts. I haven’t decided to post any of my poems yet; so far my lines aren’t readable. And I can’t enter the chapbook contest; as former editor of Poet’s Market and a former blogger on Poetic Asides, I don’t qualify as a contestant. However, my poetry output has been so sketchy that I want to prod (okay, “nudge”) myself to at least come up with a bank of rough drafts I can work on. We’ll see how it goes.
Debbi Ridpath Ohi at InkyGirl offers a year-long Words-A-Day challenge of 1,000, 500, or 250 words per day for those writers who find the compressed time and 50,000 word goal so demanding as to be counterproductive. Debbi’s site offers tips for writers as well as interviews and, my favorites, writing-related cartoons.
I’m sure there are more November writing-motivation programs out there. If you know of any, please post a comment with the information and I’ll add updates to this post.