NaNoWriMo 2022 – Write that Book!

The fandabidozi year of challenges continues on! And November just happens to be the official NaNoWriMo month. So I’m taking advantage of the writing hustle and bustle that will be in the air to finish the money book I’ve been writing for the past 9(?) years. I know, I know. I’ve gone down the financial rabbit hole and haven’t resurfaced in years. But now I’m going to finish it once and for all. (Oddly, I found it easier to create the FIRE course than to write this book).

What is NaNoWriMo you ask? It stands for National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write 50,000 words of your first rough draft novel. This ends up being about 1,667 words a day or about an hour and a half of typing. That means you could do this challenge even if you have a full-time job. And lest you complain that the challenge is too hard before you even begin, then consider the constraints a benefit. As Seth Godin wisely says, “Constraints are a gift because they bring us something to lean against, and they give us the chance to focus on work we can actually do.”

I already have more than enough words written down for a book about money. As a result, I’m going to use this month to finish editing and revising each chapter. I’m committed to spending 1-2 hours per day on the book. So, not quite the same challenge, but the focus is still to get to the finish line.

With any luck, you’ve already gotten started with writing some of your book each morning in a journal so your creative juices are flowing. If you haven’t yet, then get a journal and start ASAP. This is the easiest way to get into the daily writing habit before the actual challenge. Daily journaling and some meditation led me to write my first book, Coach Yourself to Success, which much to my amazement went on to become an international bestseller. And over 22 years later it’s still selling in countries around the world. I was lucky to have written a coaching book just as life coaching was starting to be recognized as a real thing. Now, 22 years later, life coaching is ubiquitous. 

If you need some inspiration on how or what to write, just go to nanowrimo.org and get some free support and advice in the community. Or you could read Chris Baty’s book, No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days. Baty points out that writing “exercises your brain in weird, pleasant ways and just makes life a little bit more enchanted.” There are lots of fun resources on his website to get you started. 

Then, to work on publishing your book when finished, you may want to read my favorite book on the topic: The Shortest Distance Between You and a Published Book by Susan Page.

While Baty gets your pen to paper, Page explains the entire publishing process. She even provides tips on how to select a title and find an agent. Both books are great resources for aspiring authors. The other indispensable tool is the timeless classic by Stunk and White, The Elements of Style. This book helps with grammar, punctuation, and brevity. You won’t need this for the rough draft, but it will come in handy when it comes time to rewrite and edit. (You may also want to check out William Zinsser’s On Writing Well.)

As the author of three published books, I can assure you that publishing is an industry in itself. So it helps to understand how things work. Writing a book is one thing but publishing it is quite another. Plus, the rules for non-fiction are different than the rules for fiction. 

The most important thing is to get started and not yet worry about getting published. I hope all you aspiring authors out there join me in this NaNoWriMo challenge. Even if you have no intention to write a book, I hope you write daily in your journal to start tapping into your creative side. Good luck!

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