How to Conquer NaNoWriMo 2016 and get that Draft Done

How to conquer NaNoWriMo 2016 and write that first draft!

November is fast approaching and all over the world people are gearing up to tackle their new project during NaNoWriMo, and I am too! Not sure what NaNoWriMo is? Want to know what my plans are? Read on for more information!

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A brief history of NaNoWriMo:

The project was started in 1999 by freelance writer Chris Baty. It moved to November and had an official website in 2000. Attendance was small, initially, but gradually it spread across the world through the media, mostly bloggers and local US news outlets. It became a non-profit organisation in 2006 and members can give a donation if they choose, while they are writing their manuscripts during November. Chris Baty has moved away from the running of the organisation to focus on his writing career. The website was overhauled and placed in the care of a guided team of individuals that strive to make each NaNoWriMo better than the last.

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to have a completed draft of 50 000 words or more completed (and verified) by midnight on November 30. Novels can be of any genre or theme. You are allowed to plan and take notes but all submitted material must be written during November. No earlier writing can go into the body of the novel and on cannot start early and finish on November 30. You are a winner if you reach 50 000 words. You receive a printable certificate and other goodies to inspire you to finish. From November 25, you can submit your novel to be verified by software for your final word count.

Create-space has, in the past, offered winners a paperback proof copy of their manuscripts. Each year, Create space has aligned itself as a place for NaNo writers to self-publish their work.


It is possible to win without anyone but you, the author, ever seeing or reading the novel.

Remember, the goal of NaNoWriMo is to have a complete (and verified) first draft – not a ready to publish novel – by November 30.

What are the benefits of NaNoWriMo?

When you sign-up to join NaNo, you create a profile and have the option of being assigned to a cabin. A cabin allows you to work alongside those who are writing in the same genre, have the same word count goal or you can ask to be randomly assigned a cabin. Working in a cabin allows you to interact with other writers, share your progress and overcome challenges like writer’s block or the feeling of demotivation. Another benefit is time-pressure. You know what you have set as your goal and the clock winds down, so to speak, towards the completion of that goal. Throughout the month, the team behind NaNoWriMo send out advice, tips and continuously push people towards the completion of their goals across social media platforms.

What are the cons of NaNoWriMo?

NaNo takes a degree of self-discipline to complete the novel/draft in 30 days. It is not for the faint-hearted and it introduces writers to the loneliness that often goes along with professional writing. For most people it makes sense but they cannot grasp the joy writers get from sitting for hours pounding out the lives of (imaginary) characters on a laptop. For many writers, there is also a feeling of accomplishment when they write the words – ‘the end’. For many writers, writing occurs in the early hours of the day as well as the late evening. Good writing cannot be done in the middle of the family barbeque or at the dinner table. I’m sure you understand why!

A summary of the benefits and cons


  • Interaction with others (real world or online)
  • Time pressure to actually finish
  • A sense of accomplishment when you finish
  • Improves your self-discipline
  • Makes you focus on your writing as a priority as well as making those around you take it seriously too.


  • Takes a degree of self-discipline
  • Can be lonesome (while you actually write).


November is fast-approaching and all over the world people are gearing up to tackle their new project during NaNoWriMo, and I am too! Not sure what NaNoWriMo is? Want to know what my plans are? Read on for more information! @mandyhalgreen

My plans for NaNoWriMo

For the month of October, I will be planning out my full-length novel that I will write during NaNoWriMo. In my previous post, I discussed defining your novel and the steps involved. I will be using many of those steps myself as I gear up to complete my first draft. Follow me on Instagram to see behind the scenes and how I’m faring.

I am using NaNoWriMo to push myself to get this book done. It will be the first in my series and the accompanying novella is on its way to being published soon! I am excited to complete this challenge and start fully achieving my dream of being a published author.

Challenge time!

Do you want to complete NaNo with me? Yes? Join me here!

I am going to be posting videos, giving away cheat sheets and workbooks and offering a FREE manuscript evaluation to one lucky participant in this challenge!

What will you get when you join?

  • Unlimited support from me in the Facebook Group.
  • An email course with cheat sheets, workbooks and videos to help you through the month (and to prepare two weeks before!)
  • A FREE planner to map out your journey and assess your writing goals.
  • A chance to have your manuscript evaluated with detailed notes on how to proceed and publish! (Valued at $325!!)


Limited space – signup now!!

Join our group!

A brief overview of the course time-line

The course is done entirely by email and each one will contain a cheat-sheet, workbook and/or a video. Your plot, characters, voice, setting and theme will be dealt with in October and the actual writing will commence in November (to coincide with NaNoWriMo).

I cannot wait for you to join and be a part of this wonderful opportunity (and it is FREE!)

The next time I offer this course it will be valued at over $400! So join now and get access to all the training for LIFE, for FREE!! Do it today, your future self will thank you.

I am not ready to publish yet; can I still do this course?


You do not have to write for anyone but yourself. If you are the only person that will ever see this work then do it! Do not hold back jump in while this challenge is FREE!


I am sure you are wondering how you will manage to keep track of appointments (both personal and professional), content for your blog/website and social media posts through the month of November when you are writing. I have the answer! The nanocourse planner! It contains a monthly calendar for October and November where you can plan your month with the big things, a checklist to help you off to the best start, a daily checklist and a social media calendar so you can prep ahead of time.

Join us here!   (Remember space is limited!)

Sign-up for the course!

So do you think you will meet your goals? Let me know!

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When you start your novel do you define it? In other words do you plan it? The length, the characters and their backstories, the settings. In this post all these aspects, and more are discussed. You also receive a free cheat-sheet! @mandyhalgreenCreate a writing mindset quickly and easily with these 7 steps! Be the successful writer you dream of today! @mandyhalgreen