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. 911EDA

    I have always had a few ideas for a novel, but I am not that great of a writer. Maybe this is a good chance to give it a shot!

    Like

  2. dogleadermysteries

    Last year I took on NaNo, sweating the challenge, finishing with 60,000 words. But I had yet to create my blog.

    I want to NaNo again. Any clues how to do it again and keep the wheels spinning on my blog?

    Yeah, I’ve read the great advice, “Get ahead by 25 posts.” Not happening here.

    Signed,

    Clueless NaNo Lover

    Like

  3. gwen's world

    I’m in!

    Like

  4. The Ink Caster

    As a NaNoer who is going to be blogging throughout November, here are my thoughts: Don’t shoot for 60k this year, and write ahead what you can. See how much of a blogging stockpile you can have waiting by Nov 1st.
    And truly? It’ll be tough. But we WriMos are a tough crew, aye? See you at the finish!

    Like

  5. fernjardin

    It’s official, I have signed up for NaNoWriMo. My daily word count has been going up steadily in the few days since I began. Let’s get this party started!

    Like

  6. John Hayden

    I love the concept. I’ll have time to write this winter. So after a life of procrastinating, I’m going to do a book. But it’s won’t be a novel; it will be nonfiction. I don’t know if it will require 50,000 words. (I hope not.) Although I’ve never written a book before, I do know from experience that most writing projects, especially my blog posts, end up using far more words than I planned to write when I started out. And realistically, I’m not going to try to write it all in November. But I am aiming for Spring publication, going the Indie route. I’m going to write a book. Really, I am. Believe it.

    Like

  7. suksesmilikkita

    it seems a nice information..i think i’ll share on it

    Like

  8. Ajaxtorm

    This year I am taking part in the nanowrimo for the first time. 🙂 I hope I finish it off within a month! 8)

    And by the way I also atarted off a blog to help the participants of nanowrimo. http://pronovelist.wordpress.com

    I was pretty active in that particular blog- made a post every two days. I hope I can continue posting with the same spirit the next month too. Nano’s gonna bite off a large chunk of my time! 😀

    Like

  9. kolorob Motion Pictures

    this is the right path to share my stories..participating is a big honor for me..!!!

    Like

  10. maydelory

    For at least one year now I’ve been telling myself to blog one of my unpublished novels and always got caught up in travel posts. Love the idea to blog a novel. When I used to use an ordinary typewriter I believe i was far more creative…didn’t have the edit button as i do now on my comp. Thanks!

    Like

  11. Makeup Dr. Shari

    I think this is a great idea! I have been part of the post-a-day2011 challenge since August and I haven’t missed a day. It’s been a struggle sometimes. I am not sure how this challenge will affect my post-a-day work. If anyone out there has done NaNoWriMo before, please let me know about your experience.
    Thanks
    Shari

    Like

  12. malinelf

    I’m gonna give it a go, and in English too even though it’s not my first language. Will be a perfect opportunity to try and write in English without scrutinizing every word. And also to get my fingers going, because if not for NaNoWriMo they would probably just lay still in my lap all November while I’m glued to Grey’s Anatomy.

    Like

  13. nicoinyourface

    I Think Im in

    Like

  14. CJ Anton

    I try NaNoWriMo every November and never make it to 50K. Maybe this will be the year!

    Like

  15. justadie

    Hmm, 1,667 a day is a lot but I’m working on other challenges so I will take this on. Video game and a post a day. Let’s do this!

    Like

  16. Jan Simson

    This sounds AWESOME. I’m in.

    Like

  17. interspaceads

    Hello, Just want to say this is a great post, as someone like myself who is looking to start writing more and maybe make a living form it, this is a really good Information post and i am glad i came across it. I have alot of ideas,more than my head can manage at times,lol. I mostly write my stories over on HubPages. GoodLuck to all that take part and happy writing.

    Like

  18. savannahw18

    I’m SO in!

    Like

  19. sewingplums

    Hey, I’ve just discovered that WordPress has been running PostAWeek all year. I post every week anyway. Didn’t know I was doing anything special !

    In my opinion, if you don’t automatically keep coming up with something you want to say, then blogging is not for you.

    And unless you’re always coming up with stories, and noticing people’s foibles, then novel writing is not for you.

    I’m always watching people and imagining stories about them. But I never think of a sustained ‘plot’ with a strong story arc, and tension/ relaxation, light/ dark, humour/ serious, to keep readers page turning. Nor would I have good control of any sort of unstructured ‘modern writing’ scheme, or have anything sufficiently interesting to say about life to keep people reading it. There’s no point me even thinking of writing a novel. I’m definitely a non-fiction writer.

    But Best Wishes to all who are trying 😀

    Like

  20. grrahm

    This is a great idea. I will definitely participate in NaNoWriMo this year. It took me far too long to crunch out my first novel because I allowed my inner naysayer too much freedom. I believe this will be a liberating experience.

    Like

  21. Ashley

    I had never heard of NaNoWriMo until a few days ago, and having always wanted to write a novel, here I am. I am still a bit reluctant to tell friends and family what I’m doing, so that at the end of the month I can either a) impress them or b) pretend that it never happened. It was only from blogging today that I have decided to write a novel for children.

    Like

  22. kazekitty

    I have a friend who has done NaNoWriMo every year for the past 4 years. I watch her with envy as she writes amazing stories like a madwoman and wonder where she gets all her ideas. I like to write just as much as she does. I have the creativity, but no drive, so I never do it. Maybe I will this year just to prove to myself I can. Maybe something great may come from it.

    Like

  23. Britts

    I’m doing the young writers program. I’ve set my goal to 25k. I’ve done NaNo 3 times now, but never won. XD

    Like

  24. chyrondave

    To be honest, in previous years my blog posts have been little more than word count updates. But hey, that still counts as a post a day entry, right?

    Good luck to everyone going for NaNoWriMo 2011.

    Like

  25. sjcallida

    sounds exciting! i would love to join this time, but still I have a lot of things to consider:) well then, my regards for those who already made their decision to join! take the risk, it’ll be fun that’s for sure:D

    Like

  26. hoole

    I hope to succeed and process my writing in the creation of a new product for my store.
    Maybe you can already guess what I’m talking about.

    Like

  27. revbruce

    Here’s a challenge that we can share with other literacy groups, funding sources and supporters. “Team up” and blog that fiction novel like a story chain, passing it from to another and seeing how the story develops as a group effort. After all, the writing for The Office does pretty good as a team.

    Like

  28. Kylie

    I participated the past four years and made it to 50k twice! It’s an awesome challenge and tons of fun… I’d encourage everyone to try it. Whether you make it to 50k or not, you still end up with more than you started! And what a cool way to get psyched up for it with a Post a Day!

    Like

  29. ooohsomethingshiny

    I’ve been wondering how to balance blogging with NaNoWriMo. Thanks!

    Like

  30. CloudTops

    This is an interesting challenge, i just joined another blogging platform like 6 weeks ago & won a contest their for Hubpages, it was called the HubNugget award so I guess why not try it again on WordPress, You never know, the content doesn’t bother me a bit I love typing away into oblivion. “I wish everyone luck & lets get typing.”

    Like

  31. sinamagazine

    Woop woop..looking forward to it..definately taking part 😉

    Like

  32. Ladon Brumfield

    I’m in! 🙂

    Like

  33. jessiethought

    Someday I’ll write a novel, but I’m sticking to smaller things for now.

    Like

  34. misfit120

    I’ve written two books. One, to get my feet wet, an autobiography which went absolutely nowhere. And my second, a mystery novel, which basically was self published and is going nowhere due to my publishers who are really the world’s worst. So, with that in mind, I still write each and every day but do so in a daily humorous blog on current events or whatever else pops into my demented mind. It’s good therapy for anyone who loves to write but does not want to deal with sleazy publishers, rejections, and the rigors of spending months writing a novel only to get rejection letters up the kazoo or unreasonable fees for self-publishing their work. I get great satisfaction at what I do, and if it were not for the great people at WordPress would not be able to express myself through my writing. misfit120.wordpress.com

    Like

  35. Sandra's Stories

    This will be my first year participating in NaNoWriMo! It sounds like so much fun! Plus, it’s a great experience, especially for those new to writing. I hope I can hit the 50, 000 mark. The post a day challenge seems like a good way to practice. 🙂

    Like

  36. peterwelland

    If I wasn’t tied up in my own online book I’d be all over this!……………..what you mean shameless plug? Alright but a man needs to attract readers somehow 🙂

    Like

  37. wolfamongthesheep

    wow this is a great idea, i just dont know if im ready! Then again I’d love to get a push to start my book

    Like

  38. tvknight10

    What a challenge! I’m publishing pieces of a short story on my blog, and I’m barely making it. I guess this is possible if you don’t have a full time job or are a really good at multitasking. All the best to those who’ll attempt this.

    Like

  39. Oranges and Avocados

    Thanks for the heads up. I usually remember or hear about NaNoWriMo well after it has begun. I am thinking of finally doing it, if a story idea manifests in the coming weeks. Good luck to everyone who will participate.

    Like

  40. Felicity-Zara Stewart

    200,000k, here I come. (:

    Like

  41. Felicity-Zara Stewart

    Oops. 200,000 words. Stupid k.

    Like

  42. Mistflyer1102

    Last year was my first year, and somehow I made it to 50K despite the workload of schoolwork. I actually already created a blog for NaNoWriMo before I found this, but hey, I’m still game for the post-a-day challenge.

    Like

  43. Pravin Chawhan

    The topic is very interesting

    Like

  44. amy-gaffigan

    Gah! So excited for this! This is what I live for, writing creatively when I need to be working on a speech project! That’s the life.

    Like

  45. amy-gaffigan

    The awkward moment when you realize you’re a month late…

    Like

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