4 Ways to Prepare for a 30-Day Writing Challenge

prepare for a 30-day writing challenge

November is a big month for writers, and it’s just around the corner. If you plan to participate in a 30-day writing challenge, like the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge (WNFIN) (aka National Nonfiction Writing Month/NaNonFiWriMo), you need to start preparing immediately.

Most people enter a 30-day writing challenge with no preparation at all. They just start writing.

That’s a mistake.

Preparation holds the key to success when it comes to churning out a book or an article in a month.

To increase the likelihood that you meet your writing goals during WNFIN, spend time reviewing the following four areas.


To write a book or article quickly on deadline, you need to have an enormous amount of clarity about the project. Be sure you have the answers to the following questions:
how to write a book in 30 days

  • What is your goal?
  • Why do you want to take and complete the 30-day writing challenge?
  • What are you writing about?
  • What benefit do you intend to provide for the reader?
  • What research do you need to conduct before you begin writing?
  • What is the structure of the project—the table of contents for a book or the lead, subheadings, and conclusion for your article?

It will serve you well to spend a good deal of time fleshing out your 30-day writing project. Create a mind map of potential topics to cover, and use this to create a detailed outline. Write chapter summaries.

This type of preparation leaves little chance for you to stare at a blank screen when you need to churn out words.


Productivity lies at the heart of a 30-day writing challenge. If you aren’t a productive writer, you’ll struggle to meet your deadline or word count. To ensure you can write efficiently and effectively, answer these questions:

  • What do you need to organize so you can write quickly and easily?
  • What do you need to clean up so messes don’t distract you?
  • What do you need to complete before you begin the challenge?
  • How much time do you have in your schedule to write each day or week?
  • When will you write?
  • How many words do you need to write each day or week?
  • What other distractions do you need to eliminate to help you stay focused on writing?

When you have organized, cleaned up, reduced distractions, determined when you will write and how much, you will find it much easier to sit down at the computer and write. Just write. That means you’ll be productive in the time you have allotted for writing.


Energy is a topic rarely discussed by those who teach about completing a writing project in 30 days. However, if you don’t have the stamina to complete the challenge, you won’t. You’ll fail because you don’t have the endurance to cross the finish line. To prepare yourself for the writing marathon you intend to run, answer these questions:

  • Do you have enough energy to complete all your work and other commitments every day—without feeling exhausted?
  • Do you sleep seven or eight hours per night—and can you do so during the writing challenge?
  • How will you take care of your body during the 30-day challenge? Will you walk daily, go to yoga class twice per week, schedule a weekly message, or exercise daily?
  • How will you relax and rejuvenate? Will you power nap, take every Saturday off, meditate, or join friends for lunch?
  • When you feel tired during a writing period, how will you energize? Will you do deep breathing, walk around the block, or get up and dance?

Many writers end up exhausted during or from a 30-day writing challenge. Don’t let that happen to you!

Find as many ways as possible to ensure you have the stamina to complete the event. Consider starting your energy practices, such as exercise or meditate, immediately to build up endurance for the big event.


While you may want your writing project to influence the lives of readers in positive ways, the persuasive skills you need to prepare for a 30-day writing challenge apply to you. Can you influence yourself to write—even when you don’t feel like writing?

To persuade yourself to complete your 30-day writing challenge, answer these questions:

  • What is my most negative thought about taking or completing this 30-day writing event?
  • How can I turn that negative thought into a positive one or an affirmation?
  • What negative habits do I have that will hinder me from meeting my goal?
  • What positive habits do I have that will support me in achieving my goal?
  • What habits do I need if I am going to complete the 30-day writing challenge?
  • When you don’t feel like writing, what will you do to persuade yourself to write?

When the going gets tough, you don’t want to get going in the opposite direction of your computer. You want to get writing! Be sure you have strategies in place to help you inspire yourself to make it to the end of the 30-day writing challenge.

How do you prepare for a 30-day writing challenge?

National Nonfiction Writing MonthDo you worry about whether you can finish a 30-day writing event like the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge?  You aren’t alone.

Stop worry and start writing. Join the Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) Coaching Group.

The group is focused primarily on preparation for WNFIN-so you meet your 30-day writing goals. The four phone sessions begin the first week of October. Additionally, you will receive membership in a private Facebook group, templates and checklists, and the opportunity to have your preliminary work reviewed.

Find out more and register when you click on this link: ninaamir.com/WNFINCoachingGroup.


Copyright: gaudilab / 123RF Stock Photo


  1. Thank you Nina, for another great article and advice. I need to prepare for nano. One thing you mention is something I can not escape at the moment and it is medical reasons, but with this article I will find the abilities I can use to compensate for it. I hope. I am going to utilize my technology to help me if I can muster that up in October and move forward as be I can. For me it is all about acceptance. Slow and steady wins the race for me right now that is how I need to move. But, it will be a constant instead of a drudery esp with this article to boost me and gave me lots of help so far. Maybe not the goal nano has in mind but my goal. I need to do that for various reasons. I would love the nano goal. But, for now I need to follow my gut. I am sure you know what I mean. blessings donna marie

  2. Stephanie Hynds says:

    Thanks for the great tips! I’m a working freelancer with contractual obligations and health issues, so I’m doing the 30-day challenge, but tweaking it to be a 60-day challenge. I appreciate the advice, Nina.

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