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Challenge yourself next month

lot of people enjoy writing and have always wanted to write something of substance. November is the chance to tackle that kind of project with support from the literary world and friends while doing it.   

NaNoWriMo (National Writing Month) is the challenge to write 50,000 words by the end of November. The challenge helps writers, who are notorious for their remarkable ability to procrastinate, stay on track and have a clear goal.

With NaNoWriMo, people go to great lengths to write, dedicating hours of the day and week to cranking out a novel. Whether it is good or bad, they have a word limit to hit and they just write away.

The project recommends not editing along the way. Just write, write, write, be free from rules and edit in December.

It’s an Internet-based writing challenge, so it can connect people far and wide. People are attracted to NaNoWriMo because it provides discipline, focus and a deadline.

There are a couple of days before it starts Nov. 1. If you want to tackle the project, now is the time to plan an outline of your story, or get a firm idea of what you want to write about. You can either be super structured or plan to write freely and let whatever happens, happens.

The project provides a creative outlet for people who need it, like if you’re a scientist and need to do something with the other side of your brain after work. This project is also something that can occupy your time after work in November. After all, it’s starting to get cold, rainy and dreary outside and we lose an hour of daylight. Might as well be inside writing, exercising your brain for a bit.

A survey by Stop Procrastinating, a productivity website, asked writers who had undertaken NaNoWriMo at least twice before to reveal their strategies for success.  Some of the results include:

•67 percent said the time of day they wrote was crucial to success.

• 49 percent wrote in the morning before work. They felt fresh and creative.

• Many got up at 5 a.m., two hours before they usually woke up. Of these, 84 percent said they felt good for the rest of the day knowing they’d already finished.

• 22 percent said they found writing after work too tiring.

• 28 percent  said they preferred writing before they went to bed.

• 32 percent said they tried to write more than 1,667 words each day to bank some words for less productive days.

We recommend considering this project if you have always wanted to write but never had the discipline or support.

Check out www.nanowrimo.org for more.