Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Writing a Book in a Month JuNoWriMo Style

In the past I've participated in book in a  month challenges like National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The goal is to write at least 50,000 words during a single calendar month. I've often wondered why November was chosen. With Thanksgiving coming at the end of November, it's easy for a writer to get sidetracked, especially toward the end of the month.

Fortunately, November is no longer the only month this kind of challenge runs. There are similar challenges in April and July (Camp NaNoWriMo), June (JuNoWriMo) and July (JulNoWriMo). There is also a challenge in March to help you edit the book you've just finished--NaNoEdMo.

June Novel Writing Month (JuNoWriMo)I opted not to participate in these events the last couple of years. A bad move, since this also marked a period during which I only finished one novel. With my new goal of being a prolific indie author, now seems like a good time to jump back on board.

This is my first time participating in JuNoWriMo. However, the group is extremely enthusiastic. Managed by great leadership, the JuNoWriMo Facebook group has been very active in the weeks leading up to JuNoWriMo, as participants plotted their stories and tackled other pre-writing duties like character sketches or cooking large batches of meals and freezing them.

You can't be part of the JuNoWriMo Facebook group and not be inspired.

After completing the first book in my new series and sending it off to my beta readers, I am now focused on writing the second book, set in the same North Carolina beach community. My target word count for the book is a bit higher than the 50,000-word goal for the month. But completing this challenge will put me well on my way to finishing Book Two.

The goal of writing 50,000 words in a month may feel intimidating, I know. But the important thing isn't whether or not we reach the goal. It's that we are actively working on completing a story. I haven't "won" every challenge I participated in. Still, I ended the month with far more words to my story than I had in the beginning. And several of those "failures" went on to be completed manuscripts. Both of my published novels began life as NaNo projects. One in a month I won. One in a month I didn't.

Have you ever participated in a reading or writing challenge? What did you gain from the experience? What were some of the drawbacks? Would you recommend the experience?


  1. Hey Reese! I've found Twitter sprints to be helpful. Got a few thousand words written last week with Farrah Rochon and a few other ladies using the #1K1H- "1 k in 1 hour."

  2. I've been thinking of hosting a writing challenge but I'm fearful that I'll organize it and then drop out, lol. I hope you're able to get your book done, yellow jackets be damned. Maybe some of that writing pep will rub off on me (Lord knows I need some these days. Geesh!). Good luck:)