Do you NaNoWriMo?

Who else has heard of NaNoWriMo? If you have yet to encounter it, this is your introduction to something that will take you nought to novel author in just 30 days.

NaNoWriMo, or the National Novel Writing Month is a challenge to write a novel in just one month. Impossible you say, that’s what I thought and yet, all these years later, I have a growing collection of first drafts and an increased confidence that each one is better than the one from the year before.

NaNoWriMo is not just for amateurs. Many authors who stared in NaNoWriMo went on to be traditionally published. About 449 traditionally published books started in NaNoWriMo. And that’s just the ones they know about.

This year, participants will be inspired by weekly “pep talks” penned by published authors, including Roxane Gay, Kevin Kwan, Julie Murphy, and Grant Faulkner. NaNoWriMo will also provide participants access to mentorship from authors including Emily X. R. Pan, Mur Lafferty, and Jasmine Guillory.

A novel in a month?

A novel in a month. That does not seem possible. How do the NaNoWriMo folks do it?

The secret is not worrying and just getting stuff down on paper. The fact is that it is hundreds of times easier to fix an imperfect manuscript than it is to write a perfect one.

After that, it is just a case of doing a little math (or letting me do it for you). The target word count is 50,000 words. This is 1,667 words a day. Or about three to five typed pages. Which amounts to a page in the morning, one at lunch, another before tea and two more in the evening.

That’s not so hard right?

How to make NaNoWriMo even easier

There are many secrets, tips, and hacks to make NaNoWriMo even easier but here are three quick tips that will turn anyone into a novelist in just one month.

1. Tell everyone what you are doing

I cannot tell you how much more motivated I feel when I know that everyone is going to ask how my novel is going. That part of my brain that works very hard to avoid embarrassing me (the part that gets trumped by own idiot missteps) can work for you too. I find that I work very hard to keep on target when failure means everyone knowing about my failure.

As motivation hacks go, this one is huge.

2. Come up with a few ideas ahead of time

Nothing takes the pressure off like having a handle on the characters and settings for your story. You can find some tools to help build characters in our Facebook group. You can also get support in the forums, particularly the QnA for aspiring authors. There is a long-running thread with questions to ask in a mock interview with your main protagonist (lead character).

3. Break your story into 30 little chunks

Break your story up into 30 bite-sized chunks. Each of those, oh I don’t know but let’s call them chapters, can tell one part of the story.

This takes the pressure off because you will not need to ask yourself “what do I write today?” because you already have a plan.

Are you going to be doing NaNoWriMo?

Thanet Creative are planning to make Thanet much more NaNoWriMo freindly by holding write ins and supporting WriMos (participants) in our regular writing group events.

What’s stopping you becoming a novelist?

Why adding your voice to ours matters


When you join Thanet Creative as a charity member you add your voice to ours. With a collective, your voice and ours together is far more powerful than when separate.

Standing up for writers

One of the things that Thanet Creative exists to do is to stand up for those who work in a creative field, writers especially. Your membership enables us to do that.

Unless you are a CEO of a big company, the head of some powerful union or single interest group, or you are a bored billionaire, then you do not have much if any clout in our political system today. In Thanet, this is even more pronounced. We currently have two seats one of which is a known “safe seat” so your vote counts for very little. (Just 0.06 of a normal vote).

That is very bad. In a representative democracy, the people are supposed to have the deciding voice instead of an elite band of insiders. Right now the rights and opinions of creatives could so easily be crushed under the wheels of political expediency.

We want to change that.

What are the issues?

There are many issues that face writers. Fair pay, scams that target authors and complex contact law to name but a few. Here are a few of the more troubling issues we are currently gearing up to address.

The issue of Universal Credit adding an extra hurdle to self-employment as a writer is something we care deeply about. Alone, there is probably nothing we can do but as a collective, we are able to stand up for the rights of writers. Reforms or retraction of Universal credit are the clear answers here.

On the issue of the alarmingly low rate of pay most writers can expect, alone you or I can do very little of note. Together your voice with ours can make a difference. There are no clear-cut answers. This is likely to be a long fight but one we intend to stay on top of.

Then there is the isolation that many writers face. This is something that Thanet Creative has been addressing since 2013 when we first started running writers groups. We will continue to run these groups. Members’ donations help to fund us doing this.

Your membership makes a difference

Your membership could make the difference between action and inaction. When we write, on behalf of our members, to political parties, the more people we represent, the more likely our words are to make a difference.

When we write, for example, asking for changes to Universal credit that would allow writers to get into self-employment, the parties will ask us how many people we speak for. The larger that number, the more powerful our reply.

The tiny cost of membership

Membership of Thanet Creative: Charity requires a minimum donation of £1 a year. Just a quid. That is all. There are no further commitments or requirements for you to sustain that membership.

The huge benefits of membership

By working together we can stand up to the issues facing writers and creatives of all types. This alone is, in my opinion, worth the donation of some pocket change. But that is not all.

As a member, you gain the right to vote on who runs our charity. You can even stand for election as a trustee yourself (if you want).

Members also enjoy the guarantee of priority registration on any closed or limited place events that we run.

Speaking of events and groups, we assure all members the right to gain direct support for any relevant event that they might be holding. You can even apply for funding (although we don’t have much we are willing to share what we do have).

As such members gain a larger voice in deciding the future of the events and groups we hold around Thanet.

How do I join?

You can join at any of the events that we run. Most of them are free and open to the public. Just come along and say that you would like to join. The whole process takes a few minutes – just long enough for us to record your donation and make sure we have your details so we can get in touch when trustee election time comes round.

Add your voice with ours; together we can make being a writer a little bit easier.