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What the Heck is NaNonFiWriMo?
From:
Nina Amir - Nonfiction Writing, Blogging, Publishing Consultant Nina Amir - Nonfiction Writing, Blogging, Publishing Consultant
Los Gatos , CA
Monday, November 03, 2014


 

November is replete with writing events, the most well known of which is NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. Nonfiction writers, however, have their own event, National Nonfiction Writing Month, or NaNonFiWriMo.

If you can't quite wrap your tongue around NaNonFiWriMo, try WNFIN, since this event also is known as the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge. A personal challenge, not a contest, is pushes participants to start and complete a work of nonfiction in 30 days. This can be an article, an essay, a book, a white paper, or a manifesto. If you meet your goal, you get the personal satisfaction of knowing you did so—and a manuscript, or maybe several manuscripts, with which to pursue publication.

The Origins of the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge

In November 2006, I participated in NaNoWriMo, event though I'm a nonfiction writer and expert. I "won" by writing 50,000 words, but what was more satisfying was the fact that my novel won the 2007 San Francisco Writer's Conference pitch contest.

In October 2007, a year after my NaNoWriMo experience, I asked myself, "What's a nonfiction writer supposed to do during November?" Searching around in the NaNoWriMo forums, I discovered NaNoRebels. Participating as a rebel might be fine for some nonfiction writers, but it wasn't for me. Although I have a rebellious nature, I wanted to participate in a legitimate manner. So, I gave birth to the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge. I later added on the NaNonFiWriMo title so people would associate it with the NaNoWriMo event.

I feel strongly about educating writers so they can succeed. Therefore, NaNonFiWriMo offers its participants a way to learn about writing, publishing and promoting nonfiction as they complete the 30-day challenge. Until 2013, this was provided via a dedicated blog called Write Nonfiction in NOVEMBER!, which featured 30 days of expert guest posts during November.

The first year, I produced a huge brain dump of everything I knew on these topics, which resulted in 27 days of blog posts. When November rolled around the next year, I enlisted help—27 expert guest bloggers. I wrote the three remaining posts and an introduction to each post. The blog sat dormant the rest of the year, although it continued to get a fair amount of traffic. I offered a month of expert guest posts on nonfiction writing, publishing and promotion during the challenge every year since.

The Benefits of NaNonFiWriMo/WNFIN

Thousands of writers take challenges of different sorts in November—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, digital, and academic. Why? There are many benefits to such participation. Let me discuss five of them.

1. A deadline. Faced with a challenge and given a deadline, most of us are more likely to do what we say we want to do and set out to do. This becomes even truer when we have others participating with us.

2. Group energy. While thousands of people participate in NaNoWriMo each year, even smaller events like NaNonFiWriMo offer group energy. It has a forum and Facebook group where participants can gather and support each other. Knowing others are "in it" with you helps you move forward so you have a higher likelihood of completing your project.

3. Accountability. A month-long writing event makes you feel accountable—as if you must finish, and accountability is one of the best ways to encourage achievement of any type of goal. Because you've told others you are participating, such as friends and family or even the people in the forum or Facebook group, you develop a stronger sense of failure if you don't cross the finish line. You want to avoid that feeling, so you push yourself to complete your project. Then, like everyone else (or the majority of the participants), you can say you achieved your goal.

4. Short time frame. The fact that you have just four weeks to finish provides you with the sense that you can do it. You aren't signing up for a year of writing. You are only sacrificing time and putting in effort for 30 days. So you are more likely to do so. You give things up and put time and energy into getting the book, article or essay written. It may just be a first draft, but that's more than you had before. And that feels great!

5. Sense of accomplishment. We all need that to help us to continue writing all year long. Or it might be the impetus a writer needs to take a November project all the way—to an agent, a publisher or the editor of a publication.

Why don't you consider joining a November writing challenge like NaNonFiWriMo? It's not to late to start. For more information, go to www.wnfin.com or wwwnationalnonfictionwritingmonth.com.

Nina Amir, the bestselling author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual, is a speaker, a blogger, and an author, book, and blog-to-book coach. Known as the Inspiration to Creation Coach, she helps creative people combine their passion and purpose so they move from idea to inspired action and positively and meaningfully impact the world as writers, bloggers, authorpreneurs, and blogpreneurs. Some of Nina’s clients have sold 300,000+ copies of their books, landed deals with major publishing houses and created thriving businesses around their books. She is the founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month, aka the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge, and the Nonfiction Writers’ University.

If you’re participating in NaNonFiWriMo or NaNoWriMo, you might find Nina’s latest bestselling ebook, The Write Nonfiction NOW! Guide to Writing a Book in 30 Days, helpful.  http://amzn.to/1obZxde

 
Nina Amir
Inspiration to Creation Coach
Pure Spirit Creations
Los Gatos, CA
408-353-1943
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