#NaNoWriMo: How to write a book in one month and still have a life


Writing a book in a month might sound like a dream or even a time consuming task but you’d be surprised. I’ve always wanted to write a book but could never finish. Either I’d start it, get to the middle and not know how to finish it or let life get in the way. That was until I discovered NaNoWriMo – an event that takes place in November (National Novel Writing Month) that helps you write a 50,000 word manuscript.

Before NaNoWriMo, the thought of writing a book in a month had me thinking that I’d have to be locked in a room all day and night just typing away on my computer. You can imagine how relieved I was when this wasn’t the case.

I tried NaNoWriMo for the first time last year and finally finished my romance novel! I haven’t buckled down to edit the damn thing, but that’s another story for another time. As to how to write a book in a month and still have a life, it’s very possible, and it all comes down to preparation.

So how did I do it? By planning out exactly how I wanted the book to begin and end, fleshing out my story so that I could see it clearly before writing. I began by writing what the purpose of the story was. Then I broke it down by scene, what events I wanted to happen in each scene and what conflict my main character would have to work resolve. Then I organized the scenes and settings into chapters.

It’s a good idea to start planning your book at least a month before you write it Click To Tweet. Give your characters personalities and your settings so much life that the characters seem like they could walk right off the page and your settings are described so perfectly that your readers see it when they close their eyes.

Next, decide on a daily word count (a certain amount of words to write per day) and never miss a day no matter what. CatchiFor me, this was difficult at times. I’m a mother and I am a freelancer with clients, so having to do client work and then commit to a word count every day was exhausting at first. But you get used to it. It becomes a habit, a healthy habit. And when you meet your daily word count you feel a sense of accomplishment.

So for me, I would commit to at least 1667 words a day. If sitting down and typing up 1667 words sounds like too much, split it up and do half in the morning before work and the other half at night right before bed. Make things easy for yourself so that you finish your novel. Click To Tweet I usually exceeded the word count because I’d get so deep in my story that I didn’t want to stop which was great. There were NaNoWriMo participants who wrote more than 50,000 words. I’m talking over 100,000 words – typical for fan fiction. If they can do it, so can you!


For this year’s NaNoWriMo, I already have my story fleshed out. I’m just going to work a little more on my characters and their personalities. I’m also writing in another genre, I’ll talk more about that in another post.

If you’re planning on participating in this year’s NaNoWriiMo it’s best to find writing buddies from now. I had two writing buddies last year, and they were lifesavers. One suggested I read Stephen King’s On Writing, and that was the best advice I’d ever received. I didn’t get a chance to read his autobiography/writing how-to during the challenge, but I did after and it has changed the way I write fiction.

Writing a book in one month is very possible. Just plan out your story from beginning to end and commit to a word count every day. Tell everyone you talk to that you are writing a book in November so that you have people to hold you accountable. Get excited about your book and really fall in love with the plot and characters. And most importantly, make finishing your book a priority and you’ll get it done!

Btw, my name on NaNoWriMo’s website is Miss Write It All, let’s be buddies.

1 Comment

  1. […] Fast-forward to last year when I completed an entire 50,000+ word novel. You can read all about that here. […]


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