NaNoWriMo / AcWriMo Resource Center
Welcome NaNoWriMo and AcWriMo participants!
We've created an online resource to help you with the programs' four toughest challenges:
(a) Getting off to a strong start,
(b) Making it past the dreaded mid-month slump
(c) Finishing! and,
(d) Having fun while doing it all!
In case you're not familiar with NaNoWriMo and AcWriMo, they're terrific monthlong writing challenges that support the basic principles of nonperfectionism. You seek to write a lot (50,000 words over the course of the month, in the case of NaNoWriMo), focusing on quantity not quality. The NaNoWriMo site provides tools for monitoring your progress and celebrating your successes, plus wonderful international and local communities of support.
NaNoWriMo and AcWriMo put many of the principles I discuss in The 7 Secrets of the Prolific into practice:
- By emphasizing quantity over quality, you learn to write in a smooth, fast, efficient flow.
- By separating out the editing process from the writing process, and focusing on just the writing for now, you learn to better tolerate the rough nature of first drafts. (Remember: you can't force or rush quality; it's an emergent property that manifests itself over time--and many drafts.)
- You also find out that, absent perfectionism and its relentless self-condemnations, writing can be, and should be, fun.
- You learn the importance and value of deadlines, gentle accountability and other creative aids. Perfectionists tend to see such aids as "cheating"--they don't trust their work unless it's some kind of epic struggle. But prolific writers know that anything that makes the job easier is fabulous!
- You also learn the transformational potential of a supportive and savvy community. Perfectionists tend to isolate themselves, partly because they devalue the contribution of community and partly because they're ashamed. But prolific writers take care to surround themselves with supporters.
Not a creative writer or academic? Participate anyway!
One of my favorite things about NaNoWriMo is that they've created a section for "NaNoWriMo Rebels," who WILL NOT FOLLOW THE RULES. They really do want to get everyone writing!
For the most powerful suite of helpful tips for your NaNoWriMo, AcWriMo, and other writing projects check out The 7 Secrets of the Prolific.