What is WNFIN?
If you have fiction writing friends, they may have heard of “NaNoWriMo” or National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is an annual challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel in November. There are many local and regional groups and online support for the thousands who take the challenge every year.
But what if you are a nonfiction writer? A fiction challenge won’t work for you. That’s why writing coach Nina Amir developed the nonfiction counterpart to NaNoWriMo, “Write Nonfiction in November” or WFIN. WFIN has components similar to NaNoWriMo, including a November challenge, but it is specifically for nonfiction writers. You can view the WNFIN Facebook Page here. Sign up!
How WNFIN Can Help You Meet Your Writing Goal
Just like for fiction writers, an annual 50,000-word writing challenge helps to get you on schedule and in the habit of writing every day. Writing every day (or almost every day) is the #1 tip successful writers give to others.
Taking a challenge is often just the impetus you need to get on track with that book you’ve been meaning to write and to stay on track until the book is finished, edited, and published.
The first step is to actually have a goal. Have you set a goal? Do you know the book you want to write? Have you done all of the pre-planning for your book: researched and decided on a title, written your marketing plan, and committed to a set writing schedule for most days of the week?
Can You Write 50,000 in One Month?
Fifty thousand words is a lot of writing; about 200 pages! Can you write a book of that size in 30 days? Yes. Yes, you can. A lot of fiction writers start NaNoWriMo, but many of them do not finish. We get it. Life happens. There’s even a BIG holiday in November in the U.S., Thanksgiving. So how can you make sure that you not only set that goal but make your WNFIN goal?
- Set your goal and COMMIT to making the goal. Yes, commit to meeting your goal.
- Get your family and friends on board. Tell them your goal and help them to help you keep your commitment to finish your book.
- Get your writing tools in order. Paper? Digital? Both?
What Writing App Will You Use?
Believe it or not, many people write their books longhand in paper notebooks. But for those who us who write on their computers or tablets, there is a plethora of writing apps from which to choose. For this writing challenge, the important thing to remember is that you will be doing only writing at this time. The planning, editing, and everything else you’ll do should be completed before and after the actual writing of the first draft.
Many writers still use the global standard, Microsoft Word, for writing their manuscripts. Many other writers use Google Docs. But there are several other writing apps to choose from.
For the purposes of this post, I have my own two favorites: Ulysses and Scrivener. Ulysses is on Mac and iOS only, while Scrivener is available for Mac, iOS, and Windows. Both have fees: Ulysses is about $40 per year with free updates and Scrivener is about $45.00 for a one-time purchase with an additional charge for major upgrades.
Make Sure You Stay on Track
The WFNIN Challenge assumes that you will write about 1,667 words EVERY DAY for 30 days straight to stay on track. What tangible steps can you take to make sure you stay on track?
- Set up a written schedule that includes a daily word counter. Many apps include this, or you can just use a spreadsheet.
- Prepare for your daily writing session the night before. Have all of your tools at the ready and your quiet writing space clear.
- Write your outline and gather your research before you start your writing challenge. Remember, this time is just for the writing. This is not the time to get ready or to edit. You are just going to write the first draft.
After Your Draft is Finished
Starting December 1, you can now move to the next stage of publishing your book, getting your draft professionally edited. Many writers go back to their first draft and revise it into a 2nd draft, and that is certainly an option after the challenge is over. When you are ready for a professional editor, formatter, and publisher (if you are self-publishing), we at Detroit Ink Publishing are ready to work with you! Contact us!