• Debra Heather

It’s almost NaNoWriMo Time!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), takes place in November each year with writers all over the world looking to hit the 50,000 word limit over the course of the month to write a full novel in 30 days.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure you’re ready for NaNoWriMo

Download your checklist!

Use this printable NaNoWriMo checklist and word count calendar I created to help achieve your writing goals!

Pick your topic/angle/story

If you haven’t already, decide which story to write. If you’re like me, you might you may have tons of book ideas bouncing around inside your head.

So how do you choose which to write and which to save for later?

Here are a few questions I try to answer when deciding what to write about first:

  • Which one do I think about the most?

  • Which one is a book you’d be most likely to pick up and read yourself?

  • Which one have you been thinking of as you read these questions?

Chances are, there’s one idea that stands out to you above all the rest.

Pick the one that has your passion and run with it.


I outline everything. I need to outline or else I lose my focus. My outlines are quite detailed, so I basically have an instruction manual for my book. Maybe outlining isn’t for you. If that’s the case, try to have a clear image in the direction in which to write.

Get in the right mindset

The reason it's difficult to reach your NaNoWriMo goal isn’t because you’re writing a book; it’s because you’re writing so much of your book in a small amount of time and that can be overwhelming. One of the biggest obstacles is making sure you’re mentally ready to complete such a tough goal. That means focusing on your motivation, inspiration, and try to stay positive! You can find other methods of maintaining the right mindset in my preplist.

Pick a daily word count and focus on hitting it

When you think about the overall goal of writing 50,000, you might get anxious, and even feel discouraged (I know I do). Because it is a lot of words to write in 30 days. Instead of thinking about it as 50,000 words in a month, think of it as 1667 words a day.

Have writing motivation

When you keep quotes, mood boards, and even other books that have inspired your own writing journey handy, it’s much easier to get in the writing zone.

Don’t worry about editing

This is one of the hardest parts. Your first draft is better done than perfect. So try to put the editor part of your brain on hold and let your writer-brain take over during the month of November.

Turn your notifications off

This is for your phone, social media, email, and any other notifications that pop up during your writing time. I know it’s tempting to check your phone, but those messages will still be there by the time you’re done with writing. If you have an iPhone, you can set your phone to work mode to avoid any notifications coming through.

Just write

NaNoWriMo is about just making progress. That progress doesn’t have to be the best version of what you can do, it just has to be progress. You can forget all about making your manuscript flawless. Instead, just focus on getting those words out of your magnificent brain and onto paper. There’s no point in driving yourself crazy and adding more stress to your life. If you miss a couple thousand words, so what? Progress is progress.

Be proud of yourself and remember to have fun!

Happy NaNoWriMo

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Where do I start? 2021 was a total whirlwind. It's honestly hard to believe I published two books in the last year. Since that was the one thing I wanted to achieve, I never thought I could do it, esp