NaNoWriMo: An Alternative Challenge


It’s almost that time again. November is just around the corner, which means it’s NaNoWriMo again. Are you ready to pump out 50,000 words in 30 days? It’s a great way to work on that novel or novella you’ve been putting off. It’s a great challenge to see what you are made of and how far you can push yourself. I did the challenge in 2009 and managed to complete 50,000 words with two days to spare! It was fun, exciting, as well as, an eye-opener of my limitations and capabilities as a writer (when I started it, I really didn’t think I would be able to make the 50,000 word goal, but I pushed through anyways). It taught me how to write without the inner editor, the creative benefits of writing everyday, how to organize my life so that I could write everyday and that I could push myself to reach any goal if I wanted it bad enough. It also taught me how exhausting writing 50,000 words in a month is and that I really don’t need to do that again any time soon. One time was enough, but I highly recommend the challenge if you have not tried it before. If you want to learn more about the official NaNoWriMo check it out here.

Even though I don’t intend on sweating through 50,000 words, I still would like the benefit of working towards a goal. I was inspired by a friend’s blog to do my own alternative challenge for the month of November.

This is how it works (information from A Writer’s Journey)…

The focus of this challenge is to get writers to finish their projects, or work through writer’s block, or just get a block of writing done, they might not normally be able to achieve.

  • You can write on ANY project, regardless if its fiction or non-fiction.
  • You can write on any project you’ve already started, and hope to complete.
  • You can select any word count daily or weekly to achieve at the end of the November month.
  • You must stick to your word count. Break it up into daily but also weekly challenges. This will allow for sick days or breaks you might require. For example, you can select 1000 words a day, which equals 7000 words  a week. Providing you’re writing that goal at the end of the week, you ‘win’.
  • You do not have to show your writing, or the word count. We’re trusting you to be honest with yourself.

Want to know more? Check out A Writer’s Journey to find out how to participate and some great benefits of being a part of this alternative challenge.

I for one plan on signing up. My goal will be 500 words a day for a grand total of 15,000 words on a novella I already have in the works. I also plan on blogging and working on another short story for an anthology commitment that I have, but this won’t be in the official word count, so I will actually be writing much more than the 15,000 words. It will be tough to fit in my shedule, but I think with some perseverance and forethought it can be done. I welcome the challenge and motivation!

I will be keeping track of my word count on my blog (can be found at the top right column of my blog under NaNoWriMo Alternative Challenge heading) and updating it at least once a week, possibly more. Feel free to post your own word counts in the comment section of this post or on your own blog. I look forward to taking the challenge with you!

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