Then you might be thinking of trying this year’s National Novel Writing Month, affectionally nicknamed NaNoWriMo.
The goal of this free event is to write a 50,000-word novel in the space of one month. (That means 1,667 words per day, if you’re doing the math.)
It’s a great exercise in FINISHING. You probably won’t write the next big thing, but you will probably finish, and that’s the key to becoming a working writer:
You finish the projects you start.
You keep finishing those projects over time and you get better and better. You sell a few books. You enjoy your work. Life is good.
But it all starts with finishing that first novel.
So if you’re doing NaNoWriMo next month, I rounded up a few resources to help you get started, all of them systems I have used or currently use and recommend.
Use your Halloween weekend to address the fears you have about writing a book so you can dive in November 1, ready to put words on paper and breathe life into your story.
Your Weekend Crash Course for NaNoWriMo
How to Outline a Book (short course) (These guys know it all. I’m a huge fan of their work and their process.)
How to Write Faster (article) (I use a variation of this spreadsheet to track my writing every day. Tracking works!)
How to Write Better Emotions (book) (Go ahead and write the clunky stuff in your first draft. But when you start revising, polish it up.)
My Favorite Writing Platform (software) (Bonus tip: Follow @ScrivenerCoach on Twitter for free power-user tips.)
My Favorite Self-Editing Tool (app) (This is where you learn your “tells” in writing – those bad habits that are easy to overlook.)
That’s it! With those resources in hand, you’ll be able to sail through November, waking up on December 1 with a first draft you can really work with, something that can go the distance.
Best of all, you’ll be the author of a finished book. The first of several, I hope!
Pro tip for aspiring writers: Learn how other writers create compelling scenes and memorable characters by studying their work. An excellent way to do that is with the weekly Quickie Romance Podcast. Every book on the podcast is a proven winner with readers, and in just fifteen minutes or so you can get a feel for how the writer does it. Sign up for email updates in the box below to get notifications of new episodes and start learning (and enjoying!)