Prepare for National Novel Writing Month with the Post a Day Challenge

November marks the beginning of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a project in which thousands of writers around the world work toward completing a 50,000-word novel by November 30th. Sound like something you want to get in on?

Whoa. That’s 1,667 words per day. I’m not ready for that!

We hear you — writing a whole novel is a pretty big undertaking. So why not gear up for the project by starting the WordPress.com Post a Day Challenge this October? It’s a great way to meet others in the WordPress.com community, including writers who have completed NaNoWriMo in the past.

At The Daily Post, home of the Post a Day Challenge, we provide creative inspiration each and every day. You can also find tons of writing prompts at Plinky.com, so you never have to worry about running out of ideas. Participating in Post a Day is also a great opportunity to prepare outlines, character sketches, and research before starting your novel in November.

How am I supposed to complete a decent novel in a single month?

According to the folks at NaNoWriMo, “It’s all about quantity, not quality. This approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly. Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.”

Think of it this way: Would you rather write an imperfect-but-complete novel, or no novel at all? Besides, if you get in the habit of posting daily throughout October, you’ll be well-equipped to start chipping away at a novel in November.

Bring it on! How do I sign up?

To join the WordPress.com Post a Day Challenge, visit The Daily Post. (The challenge began back in January but you can start any time.)

NaNoWriMo 2011 begins on November 1. Visit NaNoWriMo.org for information on how to register (the initiative is not run by WordPress.com). If you decide to write your novel on your blog and want to make it easy for others to check out your writing, tag your posts with nanowrimo2011.

What else should I do to prepare?

To create a brand new (and optionally private) blog for the writing challenge, make sure you’re logged in to WordPress.com, then start a new blog. If you don’t have a WordPress.com account yet, get started here.

If you’d like to make your blog look more like a book, you might be interested in purchasing the Chapters theme. Remember that you also have the option to set up a static front page (in place of your posts page) on your blog’s home page, if you’d like to use it to display a table of contents, for example.

So what do you think, are you up for the challenge?


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148 Comments

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  1. ilfiaznah

    ilfiaznah reblogged this on aznahblog.

    Like

  2. El Santo

    Thanks for the tips! I haven’t done NaNoWriMo in nearly a decade. I may try it again this year.

    Like

  3. Gaurav Tiwari

    50000 words? This equals about 0.3million characters! I think I can do it. :) I posted (…typed) 1,018, 260+ characters in four days on the post ‘Pi’.

    Like

  4. Ganesh Dhamodkar

    Shall I take the challenge? But 1667 words a day is too much!!

    Like

  5. Mattie J.

    Oh, how I love NaNoWriMo! I’m so excited I can barely stand it! I think I’ll give post a day a shot. Maybe it will intimidate me into not procrastinating quite as much :)

    Like

  6. jessicamjonas

    Woohoo! I am still struggling to work out what to write about, but as Chris Baty assures us, “No plot? No problem!” I’ll be there this year, scrambling to reach word count and living for the pep talks.

    Like

  7. robinofrockridge

    NaNoWriMo is a fantastic way to get into novel writing! I’ve participate for several years now.
    I aim for 2,000 words a day, then can take Thanksgiving day off, or allow for unexpectedly “busy” days.
    Go NaNoWriMo!

    Like

  8. Amber

    Wow, what a great idea. I think I’ll do Post-a-day during October to prepare for NaNoWriMo. I wrote a post about two weeks ago called “Perfect: Good’s Nemesis, or Why I’m Entering NaNoWriMo”. Basically, I’m sick of letting my “inner editor” get the best of me.

    Thanks for the tip!

    And good luck to all of you wonderful future successful authors. :)

    Like

  9. RDS

    I’ve been writing a novel on my blog since February – a memoir for my grandchildren and future generations. The postaday challenge has helped keep a steady flow. I am approaching the 75000 word mark and will when it is completed publish it privately for my family. I am using professional software which helps me organise

    Like

  10. eritta

    I’m so excited! This will be my 7th Nanowrimo!

    Like

  11. Mikalee Byerman

    I have to admit I’m intrigued by the idea, especially considering I recently quit my day job in order to pursue full-time freelance writing. But a post a day? Man, that seems like a giant chunk to bite off…

    Good luck to all who do!
    :)

    Like

  12. Cynthia Guenther Richardson

    Really, that is the only way to write-sitting down and writing as much as possibly can be written, no matter the initial outcome. I started my novel years ago when debilitated by illness and unable to work–discovering that the only thing I could comfortably do for a few months was sit at my computer and write away. Hours flew by each day as the whole story evolved, word by word. Now I am working on publishing it. So getting on with it is the only way–take a risk! And please stop by my blog and take a look around!

    Like

  13. Jess Palotas

    Love this! I am going to try it!

    Like

  14. Erin McNaughton

    I’ve never done NaNoWriMo, but I’m looking forward to doing so this year!

    Like

  15. Paris D'Aglion

    I think the point made by Amber, about not letting our “inner editor get the best of” us is the best reason to get involved in this NaNoWriMo events! Unencumbered, let’s see the real magic flow! Wooo hooooo! I look forward to reading from the WordPress Genius pool!

    Like

  16. Mohamad Yahya

    Mohamad Yahya reblogged this on Mohamad Yahya.

    Like

  17. bibianacandia

    I’m gonna try to follow NaNoWriMo, a cool challenge!!!!

    Like

  18. that girl again

    Of course, you don’t have to splash out on a premium theme if you want to publish your novel on your blog, you can also follow the official instructions for turning the front page of your site into a contents page, making it easier for people to read your book in order.

    Like

  19. amaranthmine

    This will be my third year doing NaNoWriMo, and hopefully my first completing it! The Post a Day Challenge sounds like great practice. And creating a new blog for NaNoWriMo sounds like an interesting way to keep it all organized (and me accountable for wordcount!). I’ve started a writing series with new posts every Friday especially with NaNoWriMo writers in mind… Lots of prep always helps me keep the inner editor at bay. Thanks for the wonderful post!

    Like

  20. ROH

    What a really good idea. The time limit makes you stop scrutinising your work and you just have to type. this is my first time righting a post let alone a novel I would be really grateful if anyone could have a look at my work and tell me what you think types would also be gratefully revived

    Like

  21. Kemi

    Yeah, I’ve thought of doing this on my blog. But I worry about copyright issues I.e. anyone being able to read my story and perhaps pinching it? A private blog is a good idea but then whats the point blogging my novel if no one else can read it? So I may end up on the NaNoWriMo website afterall… We’ll see.

    Like

  22. DM

    I did NaNo last year, so I’m game. I’m not sure how successful I’ll be at a post a day on my regular blog though.

    Like

  23. James Kiss

    Great idea. Thanks for the post/suggestion. This might just be the kick in the pants I need.

    Like

  24. blastedgoat

    I better start thinking of some ideas. About time I make something happen in the novel department. I’ve been wanting to finish one since I was about 13, now I’m 25. Plus, I’m unemployed and wouldn’t mind having “revising December” lol. If it’s any good I could publish and stop collecting checks from the man ;P

    Like

  25. John Wheeler (יוחנן רכב)

    Hah! I’m ahead of this particular game despite myself – I’m working on a novel (a second, the first having been recently published by my co-author’s private press) and writing something daily in Word – maybe not 1,667 words per day, but an hour of time at least Monday-Friday. When a chapter is ready to post in a more or less private WordPress blog, I put it there, so far complete with graphics.

    Stay with it, fellow writers. Above all, accept the endless revisions of your text as part of the process. Be like Lexus the car maker and engage in “the relentless pursuit of perfection”. :D

    Like

  26. Eric

    Might try the Post a Day challenge, but it’s a hectic month…power through!

    Like

  27. Chris Oestereich

    Count me in! The Dystopian Present blog is starting now.

    Like

  28. Aurora

    You can all do it! Really! I think you can because I once wrote a 110 page novella in a Labour Day (3 day weekend). Also, I’ve only been here since spring and post daily (or more as you can see from my numbers of pieces) and it works out okay. The more you write, the more you write, LOL Best of luck to all. Now that I’ve said all that, I might even try it myself in November but I have to be away and not sure it will fly. You’ll see if it does lol

    Like

  29. Ben Reynolds

    I’ve never seen this before but it looks really cool! Probably won’t end up doing it (too much of a time commitment), but perhaps I’ll do a mini novel-project instead, or at least increase my posting frequency.

    Like

  30. tvglgw

    I just moved to Shanghai, China and have joined a local writers group so the timing is perfect! I have been blogging a lot about Shanghai but will up the anti to one a day. I will also give the NaNoWriMo serious consideration. Thanks for the great info!!

    Like

  31. kat

    “It’s all about quantity, not quality.” . . . That explains a lot of the books I see at Barnes & Noble.

    Like

  32. worldpeacenik

    I started blogging when I left NC for OR in June with the intent of posting daily…hasn’t happened with that regularity though. Am signing up for the Post a Day challenge as a way to reintegrate blogging back into my daily activities. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Like

  33. Sue Burleigh

    This is a great challenge. Alas, no blog… yet. But I do try to write thirty minutes each day, especially pre-NaNo. I’ve completed two NaNos and two Screnzies, and they truly are the most satisfying writing months. As for me, my 50K is completed by Thanksgiving. There’s simply no time to write on Black Friday or any time following when you work retail. If anyone is on the fence about joining NaNoWriMo, make the jump. You won’t regret it!

    Like

  34. katerinazisiadou

    Great idea! I’m very tempted.
    But putting words together is not really my thing; give me paint and brushes instead…
    Still, this is sooooo tempting!

    Like

  35. stormz328

    This is a great idea..but as I just found out I think I will try for next year. Only I will start now for next year. Just prep work mind you as I am new to this and it will I will have a lot of home work to do before I start since I have never done this before. Good luck to all of you who are entering!

    Like

  36. reparateurdevie

    Yiep, so, I’ll write a lot for join this challenge, I usually writing in French, sorry for the mistakes.
    I think it’s possible, but here, I lost my words…
    Good look…

    Like

  37. Vitalia Febriana

    I think this chalange should also in Indonesian language or other language, what do you think?
    (Of course I can write Indonesian language perfectly since I am Indonesian)

    Like

  38. tarantejsingh

    sounds good . my friends think m a good writer. if i am free i would love to give it a shot

    Like

  39. momslifeponderings

    It’s about writing crap? And that’s a good thing? I’m in!

    Like

  40. Marcos Roberto

    Wow This is a great challenge!!

    Like

  41. Jim Kemeny

    I have a blog for my research notes and have also created a private blog to write up some of my research notes that constitute a sub-theme on a particular issue which will be in book form/length. I hope to be able to find one or two joint authors who have a similar research interests to write this together with.

    Like

  42. ilconan

    I’m so excited

    Like

  43. The Ink Caster

    Awesome challenge, guys! I’m not sure I’ll be up to a post a day– I’ll be finishing up the editing on last year’s NaNovel so I’ll be cleared out and ready to start this year! Hey, I’ll see if I can use this formula to convince myself that I’m participating:
    a) I’m writing every day
    b) I’m blogging about my writing
    c) I, erm, well… I’m sure there’s some sort of connection.

    At any rate, rock on, NaNoWriMo!
    Rock on, ALL writing challenges!

    Like

  44. MJ Advincula (@iamMJae)

    Well, you can always try, right?

    Like

  45. Luna Blu

    This is really a great idea! I just hope that I could make it but I’d be pretty busy for the following days and might go hiatus…hopefully not. Well, maybe somewhere along the way I could manage…but this looked like loads of fun!

    Like

  46. Bulu Abu

    I’m interested, but I’m afraid of my English… :(

    Like

  47. workerinlight

    I would love to try this challenge and it sounds fantastic but unfortunately I have an operation coming up, so time is an issue for me. Maybe next year I will have a go at it. Good luck to all those who participate.

    Like

  48. Karla Mouncey-Jaggers

    I’m already signed up for NaNo and I can’t wait! As a first timer I’d love any advice and mentoring from NaNo veterans! :D

    Like

  49. the.Luigi

    This sounds exciting!!! :))

    Like

  50. Bosstiger

    its the best, the most specialized theme for creating a book or a novel with wordpress :D

    Like

  51. terry6155

    Wow, I’m fairly new to WordPress and writing a blog a day sounds like a great challenge! Not sure if I’m up for it with my already busy schedule, full time employment, getting the kids to afterschool activities, sharing the computer (their homework vs my hobby). But there’s that early morning time right around 5 AM when I’m the only one awake, ok make it 4:30 AM, 4:30-7:00, that’s its I’ve talked myself into it…now what to write about?

    Like

  52. margarethaliem

    Tt’s very good, I hope I can do it

    Like

  53. Janece

    Is it almost November already??? :) I’ve participated 4 times now, and have yet to finish 50,000 words, quitting at 30,000 (sometime during week 2).. I want to give it a go this year…2011 has proven to be an exceptional year for me, so who knows – I might even finish! LOL :)

    Anyone want to be Nano Writing buddies? Look me up! JaneBond is my Nano name – I’ll be happy to support you!

    Like

  54. festivalking

    Just started working on my skills aas writer. This should be a good challenge.I hope I don’t chicken out though! Lol!

    Like

  55. erin graves

    This sounds like a great challenge and one that would help me blog more (since I’m averaging about 2-3 posts a month). Should be a good warm-up to the NaNoWriMo challenge. Thanks WP for the idea and inspiration, now I just have to find the motivation! :)

    Good luck to my fellow WordPressers!

    Like

  56. Dean Bowman

    I’m in! Good luck everybody!

    Like

  57. rawmultimedia

    OMG I think I might try this…it’s seems so interesting…I wanted to write a novel next year, I figure why not try doing one on the FLY with NaNoWriMo and test the waters. I mean the word count is BEAST and I already in the PostADay2011 and KILLING IT so well, so November shall really bring on some INTENSE measures for me…

    I AM READY TO ROCK and ROLL….who else is DOWN to ROCK OUT with our FINGERS and TYPE THIS SUCKA out?

    Like

  58. MOL

    Daunting!

    Like

  59. Mary Donnery

    I’m actually participating in NaNoWriMo this year. It’ll be my first time and I’m curious to see the outcome of my efforts. I think it’ll be a great way to rev up my writing discipline…now, all I need is a plot… :-)

    Like

  60. sanstorm

    Maybe this is the year I make it past day 1! Thanks for the motivation WP :-)

    Like

  61. naveedashaikh

    Whoooaaa! Very interesting. Up for it. Gonna join it. I gotta thought the subject and will work in it. I aim at 2500 words a day. It would be quite easier that way!

    Like

  62. cormac828

    Sorry, but I’m not up for the challenge. When it comes to writing, I go for quality rather than quantity. I don’t want to be known for prolifically producing piles of unprofitable prattle.

    There are far too many people cluttering up the internet with piles of incoherent blether. I don’t want to be one of them. To quote “Hamlet”, “Brevity is the soul of wit”.

    Like

  63. Find Focus

    Wow! I had never heard of of NaNoWriMo, but it’s certainly interesting. Definitely something to think about… Great, informative post – thanks!

    Like

  64. blaqod

    I do wonder however, it is all about creation right? So it doesn’t matter what do I write about, right? Like… let’s say, psychological stuff, social interferences etc…. ?
    Please reply soon

    Like

  65. berdorules

    I’m actually writing a blog everyday for the month of November in advance so I can participate in NaNo. They’re all Thanksgiving posts.

    Like

  66. mylibrarycardworeout

    Did NaNoWriMo last year and had a blast. Did not get 50,000 words but still it was really fun. I am going to do it again this year and I hope that other people will too.

    Like

  67. Derby City Naturals

    I’m not writing a novel but I do plan on doing the post a day challenge. It will be a struggle but I am up for it :)

    Like

  68. lpstribling

    Heck yeah! This is on of the most enjoyable writing roller-coasters ever. In fact, it is the only writing roller-coaster (that I know of) of its range out there. It’s not something you think about – you just do it. It’s not about the story. It’s about completing 1,667 words a day. You start each day and just write. Just let your fingers fall where they will. Take away the internal editor and make it happen. A possible segment of a daily writing bout could be as follows:

    Then I went to the kitchen and looked around for the salt. Wher ewas it? I wasn’t sure. I t was there just tha morning before, but here I was and I couldnt’ find it. I calle dmom into the kitchen and I also caleled Jerry and Baker. Neither of them knew what I was talking about. I decidded to solf the porblem with a a band saw. Yeah ,My dad had tuaguth me how to use a band saw the ear before and I asked each member of my family to gcome with me out to the shed. I threattened them until they told me where the salt was.

    Does it make sense? Kind of. Is there perfect spelling? Not at all. Would this every really be published? Never in my lifetime. Do I care? No because I got done what I needed to.

    enjoy.

    Like

  69. myritingboard

    hello, and yes, it sounds like a lot of fun and a headache. I may give it a shot.

    Like

  70. Shaggygirl

    I did Post a Day recently just as a personal challenge to make myself write something every day. It was a challenge but I managed it – even with going away. People are pretty understanding when you tell them you have a challenge on and you need to go and write something. They patiently waited until I was done, which was great. Of course since the challenge ended my blogging has lapsed not completely but close. I had been thinking maybe I needed to challenge myself again and I had been considering NaNoWriMo. I still haven’t decided but I do think I need to get back to regular blogging. It’s not my book but I actually got more done on the book when I was doing the challenge than any other time. So yep. Back on the blogging bandwagon!

    Like

  71. Michelle

    Wow this is a challenge, but not an impossible one. Nothing like a healthy competition to stimulate creativity. This sounds like so much fun. I’m in!

    Like

  72. thewiredjournal

    That’s quite a challenge, I wish I had the time. Reading about this however has got me thinking and is motivating me to try and write more often. Personally I think I need to focus and work on quality Vs quantity. I wish you all a sincere good luck and lots of fun. Just remember when you get frustrated and are ready to throw in the towel….

    We’ve all faced the beasts and demons from time to time.
    But the beast is not to be feared.
    The beast is not as big and bad as we tend to make it out to be.
    We must learn to understand it.
    Make it our friend.
    Pet it.
    Down size it.
    Only then can we take away it’s power over us.

    Like

  73. sonofthesunenterprise

    I’m competitive…i like a challenge. This is a great way to meet other writers.

    Like

  74. evilnymphstuff

    Nice! Might be participating this year :D

    Like

  75. BillieWanda

    I agree with John Wheeler! I totally embrace my inner editor, but i have only just begun to blog! So i am not up to the post a day but gonna go for the post a week, if that is happening again this month. Best wishes to all who have the guts to go for the NaNoWriMo! :)

    Like

  76. EmilyValdez

    haha what an undertaking!
    So crazy(: good luck to all involved!

    Like

  77. Rachael

    This is a great way of connecting with people and sharing more information. The links given are very important resources that will enhance the online identity. The information mentioned focuses on simplifying the writing process and will improve the creativity of the writer. I am surely up for the challenge.

    Like

  78. J Besonia

    I wonder though if there’s anyone who read the entries for Nanowrimo. Many want to be writers now. Very few read.

    Like

  79. sonal

    I very much want to participate in NaNoWriMo, but cannot give up my seo, content writer job for a month or take a break for 30 days!! I m wondering how i can i manage both? Any suggestions?

    Like

  80. mareemaclean

    This is an awesome idea. I especially like the post a day concept. I like that you are trying to engage individuals here to write and that you provide a structure. Another good idea might be to give a daily tip? LIke invite them to write at the same time everyday for example. if you work writing it into your daily routine i.e wake up, let the dog out, make a cup of coffee, write for 2 hours, kids get up blah blah blah time committed individuals will see how they work it into their busy daily lives. I really like this idea and I’m seriously considering signing up.

    Like

  81. cheriby

    Oh yes! No pressure!
    I signed up for the Post a Day Challenge when the news first came out.. Ask me how that’s working for me..lol!
    Well, no guts, no glory; I am going for NaNo on a wing and a prayer with ‘pen’ and keyboard in hand.

    Like

  82. Samantha Stacia

    Im not doing this particular challenge because back inAugust I did 50 articles in 50 days, I ended up doing 3500 to 4000 words a day from being intimidated by the idea of 400 a day! This REALLY DOES beef up the writing muscles and gives you confidence like nothing else. THATS why I was ready to sign up for NaNo!

    Like

  83. shiftersseries

    See, I am just finishing my own 30-Day Blogging Challenge. To be perfectly honest, I am not ready to do it again. Wish I had known this was coming up; maybe I would have waited.

    Like

  84. Richard Blaize

    This is a great idea, and i’ve only just heard about it (i’m new to blogging). Am tempted, but strangely nervous at the same time. Need to put my thinking cap on to get some kind of idea.

    Like

  85. mettaanderson

    NaNoWriMo 2011 could not be more seductive if it were covered in chocolate fudge and scented with Arpège! I’m looking forward to being a part of it!

    Like

  86. A Blissful Life

    Very nice!

    Like

  87. Mrs P

    Great suggestions!

    Like

  88. newsy1

    Wow! I don’t know if I have it in me, since I have to write every day for work but what discipline for those that do it–and finish. quite a feat.

    Like

  89. newswe

    How can I get into the competition and how to get more information about it?
    I do want to take this game; it’s seem fantastic! :)

    Like

  90. Andrew Rogers

    Great idea!

    Like

  91. zenenterprises

    I have been blogging a 21 day cleanse book, posting every day with word counts around 1500 or so.I was feeling relieved that only 2 days left til it is finished. I have been planning how I will enjoy the two hours of time every morning. And now I see this challenge! Hmmmm, I could rest and revive in October and be up for the challenge by November 1st perhaps. I am definitely going after all of my dreams and not holding back. Heavy word count however… If you have a book in you, release it, set it free on the pages of a blog. We shall see if I do so again post reclaiming my mornings.

    Like

  92. thisblindman

    This is great. Thanks WordPress!

    Like

  93. frivbest

    Of course, this is a great idea!

    Like

  94. Anna

    I know of a few bloggers that are getting ready for this, and I wish them all the best of luck!
    I, however, shan’t be joining in this year. Just thinking about the horrendous-ness of my 10,000 word dissertation I wrote earlier this year is making me feel nauseous… so maybe next year, when I’ve recovered slightly :D

    Like

  95. yiskalyn

    I am actually going to try nanowrimo. I am usually a person for quality over quantity. But I have a lot in my head right now and sometimes the only way to get it out is to write. Well er um a lot of the time.

    Like

  96. scrib64

    I do like this. I need more time!!! aarrgghhh! ;-)

    Like

  97. lapiskamay

    Whoa what is that!? I think its a good idea to kick in other’s asses in to serious writing. Hmmm I kinda busy this month..so maybe next year I’ll join. I hope.
    Goodluck to the participants!

    Like

  98. jersey110

    This is a great idea, and i’ve only just heard about it (i’m new to blogging). Am tempted, but strangely nervous at the same time. Need to put my thinking cap on to get some kind of idea.

    Like

  99. emmatheelephant

    It’s October 3rd, is it too late to sign up now?

    Like

  100. 12 Novels in 12 Months

    I’m basing my writing project, 12 novels in 12 months on NANoWriMo and believe me, it’s possible! I successfully wrote my “autobiography” in July and a western in August (both were over 51,000 words). September was a bust but that was due to the genre- Hard Boiled Crime is definitely not my style. Onto horror this month and Sci-Fi for the official NaNoWriMo submission in Novemer!

    Have fun with it and be prepared to be surprised and delighted by what you may end up with. The community is so fantastically supportive- I can’t wait for November!

    Like

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