NaNoWriMo Isn’t Just for Books

Write Anything You Want in 30 Days for NaNoWriMo

Holly Lyn Walrath
Write Weird
Published in
4 min readOct 24, 2019

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November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), an online community and yearly event where writers make the goal of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. This year, I’m encouraging you to burn the frigging thing down.

Look, maybe it’s your first time ever doing NaNoWriMo or you’re a ten-year, battle-hardened word veteran. But here’s the deal. NaNoWriMo is simply the act of creating a daily practice of writing for 30 days. It doesn’t have to be about word count, although that helps. True NaNo rebels know that word count is just a way to track creativity. There are a thousand ways to be a writer. And thusly, there are a lot of ways to buck the NaNoWriMo system.

Maybe you think the idea of trying to hammer out 50,000 words in a month is a little mad, especially when you consider it’s also the month of Thanksgiving and Black Friday and pre-holidayness (did they already turn on the Christmas music? I can hear it from October.) Maybe you don’t write fiction and have no interest in ever figuring out how to write long-form. Maybe you’re bored with your writing practice. Maybe, just maybe, you need to do what you love this November because if you don’t figure out a way to get back into writing you’ll scream.

Welcome to the fold, my fellow badasses. I am going to show you how magical it is to buck the system. Scratch that — to burn it down and make your own new map to writing.

Traditionally, NaNoWriMo is about writing a novel, tracking your word count, and aiming for a goal of 50,000 words. But if you think about the month as a way to track creativity, there are lots of options for rebellion. NaNoWriMo isn’t just for writers either. Look at the project you want to accomplish. Does it have a set end goal? Does it have a way to break it up into smaller chunks? Congrats, you have just made a plan. It’s easier than it looks.

Here are some ideas for other writing projects that work well in 30 days:

  • A poetry chapbook. 30 poems equal a…

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Holly Lyn Walrath
Write Weird

I'm a writer, editor, publisher, and poet. I write about writing. Find me online at www.hlwalrath.com or on Twitter @HollyLynWalrath!