November is one of my favorite times of the year – and it signals more than just our beloved Turkey Day. November also happens to be National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, for those in the know). It is the best month of the year to band with an army of other writers and commit to getting 50,000 words on the page.
For many writers, NaNoWriMo is the siren song to finish that book idea that has been calling all year long. We made commitments at the beginning of the year that this year would finally be the one when we told our stories.
November tells us that the year is coming to a close and we haven’t done enough to get the book in shape yet.
I’m here to tell you that telling your story deeply matters. Whether you do it with legions of other writers through a program like NaNoWriMo, or you chip away at it all year long, your story is an important piece of the fabric of our society.
If you are thinking about joining me on this challenge to write an entire novel over the course of a month, here are my best tips to get you in the chair.
How You Can Write Your Story This Month
1. Plan Ahead
Is there anything moms are better at than planning ahead? We always pack snacks, changes of clothes, and an extra bottle of water for the playground. Yet, we don’t often apply those same skills to the areas where we’re passionate. Planning ahead for what you want your story to be about and what you want to leave with the reader is an important component of NaNoWriMo.
Take some time to think about what you really want to say to the world and the mark you want to leave behind.
2. Carve Out Time
Yes, it will take you real time to birth an entire book into existence. You may not be able to change diapers, work on your story, and make dinner all at the same time. It’s impossible to do every little thing that comes across over the course of a single day.
If we wait for the perfect time to sit down to write, we will never get anything done.
Carve out time for yourself, and make a commitment that doing this thing truly matters to you. It might help if you share with a friend or a partner what you want to commit to and ask for their help to hold you accountable. It might not always be comfortable to have someone holding your feet to the fire, but it can inspire you to push a little harder to find that coveted writing time.
3. It Takes a Village
Of course, you won’t be able to do everything on your own. No matter who you are or what your life circumstances look like, you will need a little bit of help to write. No, you don’t need a writing partner (But a book coach can certainly help!). What you need is help around the house.
Whether you ask a partner to help, trade services with a friend, or hire someone for a season to help with your laundry and cleaning, you need to re-prioritize your other obligations or let some of them go to do this thing that is so important to you.
Sacrifices will have to be made somewhere because you aren’t Wonder Woman. It’s impossible to do it all on your own.
4. Start With Why
When it comes to telling your story, you should start with why it matters to you. Maybe you want to write down your life story so that your kids have something to look back on one day. Maybe you want to share a lesson learned with your kids, their friends, or another mom who is knee-deep in the trenches of parenting right now.
If you can tap into your reason for writing, you will feel that much more motivated to actually put pen to page (or fingers to keyboard). It will be a passionate endeavor that keeps you moving on, even when you feel like your story really isn’t going anywhere.
Telling your story is so important – no matter what story it might be. We need to hear your unique voice tell us what only YOU can share with us. Even if it seems like it’s been done before, I promise you that no one has approached this topic the same way that you can. You have something wonderful and powerful to share with the world – I’m sure of it.