River of Thoughts

Christine Royse Niles — Changing the world one word at a time

How to Really Finish Your NaNoWriMo Project!

It’s NaNoWriMo time again.


If you haven’t heard of it, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a creative writing challenge where participants share a common goal of writing a 50,000-word (about 200 page) novel in a month.

Every November, writers around the world rally to the challenge. Anyone can join in, and every word written as part of the NaNo challenge is a word that might not have made it into the world otherwise.

I only logged 20,313 words last year. But even without hitting the 50K mark, it’s still a win.

The downside

NaNo is pretty intense, especially for first timers and for people with jobs and families and who host Thanksgiving dinners just a few days before the deadline. Many NaNo writers need a few days’ break.

But for all too many of us, those few days extend to a week or two, and then to a month or two, and then they I look up and it’s time for April Camp (the next big challenge).

Even though I managed to add a few chapters here and there, the draft I knocked out in November is not much further along than it was when I was stuffing my face with turkey.

I don’t want that to happen to me again.

I need community

I find that my most consistent work happens when I’m in it with a few other people who are committed to a similar goal. When we’re all encouraging each other with words and stretching each other with a tiny bit of healthy competition.

NaNo offers a lot of groups and resources to keep people going through the month, but that support tends to drop off in December as everyone goes back to their lives.

I need some accountability to keep that NaNo momentum going, so I can edit and actually FINISH the book I am writing this NaNo.

The Beyond NaNo 90-Day Challenge

For the next 90 days, I’ll be working a plan to write, edit, and FINISH this year’s NaNo manuscript.

Some days that will mean joining a local write-in. Some days it will mean working with an editor or cover designer. Some days will be for rest.

But every day, it will mean having a clear plan and sticking to it.

Not every day will be perfect, but with a good plan and an encouraging community, every day will matter.

I’d like to invite you to join me in this.

Join the challenge now!

The 90-Day Beyond NaNo Challenge is designed to help us win NaNoWriMo and launch our NaNo Novels by February.

For the next 30 days, we’ll be doing NaNo. That’s roughly 1,700 words a day. And then we’ll build and execute a realistic, achievable plan to keep the momentum through the holidays and into the new year, to edit our drafts, and to polish and publish them.

Because, like I keep saying: Your words can’t change the world if they’re not in it.

If you want to be part of this, we can keep each other motivated.

The rules:

  • Sign up for NaNoWriMo (it’s free)
  • Commit to a consistent writing/work-on-the-challenge schedule for 90 days
  • Plan a day off every now and then
  • Finish a first draft manuscript during November (note: if your project is a novella, a children’s chapter book…whatever, that’s cool. you don’t have to hit 50K to call it finished)
  • Share your progress and encourage other challenge participants

How it works

It’s simple. Just click Here to join the challenge, and I’ll email you all the details to join the private community.

Join the challenge now!

And add your blog in the comments below so we can follow along! (if you’re a blogger)

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About Christine

I am a writer, a project manager, and a corporate refugee with a heart for orphans around the world. My two daughters were adopted from Ukraine at ages 12 and 14. I post about writing, chasing dreams, and making a difference in the world, and sometimes I share fun snippets of fiction in-progress.

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