NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month, takes place every November. Writers across the globe gather separately, together, to write a 50,000-word novel throughout the month.

Stephanie Olivieri, who is about to participate in NaNoWriMo for the 9th time, is a published author and illustrator who works primarily in the children’s market. She currently works as an illustrator by day and writes at night. Always finding humor in life her motto is, “that which does not kill me, makes me funnier.”

Stephanie shares why she loves NaNo, as well as some tips for success.

What is NaNoWriMo?
The actual definition from NaNoWriMo, is “National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.”

Why should writers do NaNoWriMo?
It’s a great way to get a first draft done by setting daily goals and having the momentum of other writing buddies to help writers reach them. I use it to get my first or sometimes complete rewrite out without editing.

Why have you done it for the last 8 years?
Because I love it. I love the schedule, the pace, the community and it feels great to have a completed novel at the end of the month, even if that novel is just a draft with tons of mistakes and needing revisions.

What’s the best way to prepare?
Honestly, I don’t do anything to get ready. I believe that it should just start on Nov 1st without preparing. I find it best to just go in and write without getting hung up on an outline. The best way to prepare with all that being said, is just go into it with a positive attitude and prepare to have fun.

How do you stay motivated throughout the month?
I personally stay motivated because I have to write, it’s who I am, so I write every day even without NaNoWriMo, so for me the motivation is built in.

I think that in general, writers doing NaNoWriMo stay motivated by connecting with other writers. Also I aim to write about 3,000 words a day, when that starts happening, it’s exciting and that helps with motivation.

Side note: if you have a bad day, or miss a day, don’t beat yourself up, just jump back in when you can.

Any additional tips?
Don’t worry about typos or anything, just write. Make a plan for a time of day to write and just write. It’s also fun if you have one writer friend that you can meet with and discuss your daily goals and writing. The first year that I did it, I met with a friend every day at Starbucks and we talked about our books; it really helped us both finish.

What should writers do after they finish their NaNoWriMo draft?
Put it aside for at least a week, then start revising. I like to go through and make sure the plot is working. Then I start a rewrite. You can slow down in your revisions. And go out and celebrate!! You wrote a novel. Well done!

For more NaNo tips, check out the thread from my Sunday Facebook post. Also, share your NaNo profile link in the comments, so the Write On community can connect.

Write on and best of luck!

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  1. Leah Henderson 4 years ago

    Thanks for the tips, Stephanie. I’m excited to give it a try this year!

  2. […] Novel Writing Month. Are you writing a novel in November? Check out Stephanie Olivieri’s tips for NaNo. And please share your NaNoWriMo link in the […]

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