In case you haven't heard, November is National Novel Writing Month! If you're wondering what exactly that means, gloss over our NaNoWriMo primer—then sign up for the project, read some inspirational writing quotes from famous authors, and get writing!
What is NaNoWriMo?
Often abbreviated as #NaNoWriMo, the Internet-based creative writing project happens every year, and was created as a way for aspiring novelists to get themselves in gear and crank out a 50,000 word manuscript in just one month.
How many words a day do you have to write for NaNoWriMo?
Writers are encouraged to put about 1,666 words on paper (or word processor) per day in order to meet the goal. And yes, there are also editing stages. Since no one expects a first draft to be perfect, January and February are designated "Now What?" months, with publishing experts offering Internet seminars to help participants during the writing and editing process.
Have any NaNoWriMo writers become published authors?
Yes! The process really can work. Lots of authors have gotten their novels published after completing the program, with Water for Elephants being one of the most famous examples.
But before you get to that part, you have to write the novel! If you're interested, sign up here. And if you're part of #NaNoWriMo, or even just writing a novel at your own pace, you could probably use some encouragement from authors who have already been through it. Let their quotes on writing inspire you…and then get to it!
Philip Pullman is the author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, including The Golden Compass.
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Alice Walker is the author of The Color Purple.
Joyce Carol Oates is the author of the National Book Award-winner them, among many, many other works.
John Gardner is the author of The Art of of Living & Other Stories, in addition to other books on writing.
Natalie Goldberg is the author of Thunder and Lightning: Cracking Open the Writer's Craft.
Piers Anthony is the author of The Xanth Novels.
Erica Jong is the author of Fear of Flying.