NaNoWriMo for nonfiction

In case you haven’t heard the commotion, November is National Novel Writing Month, where thousands of writers around the world are working and worrying themselves to peck or scratch out 50,000 words of story by the end of the month. Winners are anyone who completes the mission. That doesn’t mean the story is done, just that you’ve got 50,000 words of it down. NaNoWriMo is considered by many to be a great motivation tool.

If you’re brave and persevering, you can join the NaNoWriMos but work on narrative nonfiction instead. Become a rebel and compete in NaNonFicWriMo (National Non-Fiction Writing Month) by working on your memoir or lifestories. Set aside time each day or so and try not to get behind – 50,000 words is approximately 1600 words or 5.5 double-spaced pages each day, for a final count of about 128 pages, which is considered a very short book. And just write – spit it out – because you’re only producing a first draft, not the real thing. That should take some of the pressure off. You can actually sign up for the challenge on the NaNoWriMo website and join the nonfiction subgroup.

I’ve got my goal for the month, but it involves a scraper and house paint.

Linda Austin
“Cherry Blossoms in Twilight”


About moonbridgebooks

Co-author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, a WWII Japan memoir of her mother's childhood; author of Poems That Come to Mind, for caregivers of dementia patients; Co-author/Editor of Battlefield Doc, a medic's memoir of combat duty during the Korean War; life writing enthusiast; loves history and culture (especially Japan), poetry, and cats
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5 Responses to NaNoWriMo for nonfiction

  1. Linda says:

    Thanks for the inspiration for those of us who are not into writing fiction. I'll let others know.Linda

  2. Unknown says:

    According to Denis Ledoux of Soleil Lifestory November is also National Lifewriting Month. I've heard that before, although knowledge of it doesn't seem to be widespread.

  3. Linda Austin says:

    Yes! November sure is National LifeWriting Month. Thanks for mentioning that. I forget since for me every month is lifewriting month.

  4. I am working a non-fiction book I started fifteen years ago. I write so much better these days, so there is a lot of revision going on. But I am doing it!

  5. Linda Austin says:

    Great, Linda! I have one of those old works I should get back to, too. It's good to set things aside awhile and then come back with fresh eyes, although usually that means a few weeks – oops. Even though you're revising a lot, it must also be exciting to see how far you've come since then.

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