One Week In: National Novel Writing Month

November 7, 2013

Seven days. According to the Daily Mail, seven days is when most people give up on a new goal or habit. So how is National Novel Writing Month treating you? Consider this your seven-day pep talk. Regardless of your writing goals for the month of November, here are some helpful tidbits and inspirations any writer can take from the blitz that encapsulates NaNoWriMo.

First, a friendly calendar:


Second: Lets get real.

National Novel Writing Month is a tall order. Don’t feel bad if you came out of the gates running and have started to lose a little speed. Troves of editors and writers have commented on the real benefit of NaNoWriMo, which isn’t necessarily the finished product, but the value of having dedicated some serious headspace toward a creative goal. You may even have the start of a decent first draft. If you’re not meeting your writing goals each day, don’t fret. Look at it this way: writing everyday is an excellent habit to develop for those serious about improving their craft. For slow writers, NaNoWriMo is an opportunity to run amok creatively. Let the juices flow. Get a little wild. You may flush out some great work just by forcing yourself past normal creative barriers.

Remember, end goal or no, none of your time spent typing has been wasted.

Third: Publishing contract?

Did you know Water For Elephants and Night Circus began as National Novel Writing Month books? So did a few special others. If you’re serious about putting down a strong foundation for your novel, and are steadfast about seeing it through, here is an inspiring list. Be sure to check out the comments for even more good books that began during a November offensive.

Fourth: Words from the wise

First drafts are handled a myriad of ways, each of them different depending on the writer, but for the purposes of NaNoWriMo, here are some helpful suggestions about approaching your first draft in a more fast and furious manner.

“I do a first draft as passionately and as quickly as I can. I believe a story is valid only when it’s immediate and passionate, when it dances out of your subconscious. If you interfere in any way, you destroy it.” — Ray Bradbury

“I generally write a first draft that’s pretty lean. Just get the story down.” — Nora Roberts

“The faster I write the better my output. If I’m going slow, I’m in trouble. It means I’m pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.” — Raymond Chandler


At The Masters Review, our mission is to support emerging writers. We only accept submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform: typically, writers without published novels or story collections or with low circulation. We publish fiction and nonfiction online year round and put out an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. We publish craft essays, interviews and book reviews and hold workshops that connect emerging and established writers.

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