How to Maintain Momentum After a 30-Day Writing Event

WNFINOVEMBER.png This is the final post of the 2015 Write Nonfiction in November Challenge (WINFIN), also known as National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo). To find out more, click here. To review the resources mentioned by the experts featured this year, click here.
survive a writing marathon

Photo courtesy of konradkerker|

As WNFIN comes to an end for another year, you face a new challenge: How to keep your writing momentum moving forward. You can produce the same results all year that you achieved in 30 days. By so doing, you  turn your whole year into a prolonged writing marathon—without losing energy, stamina or productivity as the months go on.

To maintain your momentum after November and for the next 12 months, do the following:

  1. Continue the writing habit you developed during the month. If you stop writing on a consistent basis, you will not create a habit to carry you toward your goals. Determine a daily, weekly or monthly word count you can commit to meeting all year long.
  2. Continue setting intentions for what you want to accomplish each day, week, and month. Know exactly what you intend to accomplish in any given time period. Intentions are powerful. They have energy. Plus, they give you focus and clarity, which help you produce your work.
  3. Give yourself deadlines for each project or task you take on. Without deadlines, you are less likely to say, “Finished.” And deadlines force you to break tasks into doable pieces. Completing small chunks regularly makes you feel you make progress toward that final goal. They add a bit of pressure we all sometimes need as well!
  4. Become accountable to yourself or someone else, if necessary. Make sure you let someone know what you intend to do. Have them check on your progress. Be honest…even if you are your own accountability partner. You’ll find more success if  you find an accountability partner, accountability group or a coach.
  5. Take your project to the next level by exercising new writing and publishing muscles. If you feel the need to put your writing aside for a bit, or you are waiting for agents or editors to contact you (after sending out queries), then use other muscles, such as those needed for platform building, blogging, or writing query letters and book proposals. Don’t stop writing altogether, though, or you’ll lose the writing habit you developed over the past month.
  6. Treat yourself like an athlete. Take care of your body and mind so you become a high-performing writer and finish a year-long marathon (or longer). Writing and publishing take a long time.  Becoming a successful author isn’t a meet-your-goal-fast endeavor. You need to be ready for the lengthy event—mentally and physically.

These tips have a common themes:

  • Continue challenging yourself.
  • Don’t look at this month or the WNFIN Challenge as a one-time event.
  • Push yourself to new limits every month!

Find a way to do these things by setting new intentions, developing new habits, setting deadlines, and discovering ways to level up in every area of your work and life. If you need a monthly challenge, create one for yourself. Or take advantage of those provided by the Nonfiction Writers’ University.

If you approach your whole year like a 30-day writing marathon, you will cross many finish lines during 12 months, all of which will get you the prize you want: Successful Authorship.

How will you continue your writing momentum? Tell me in a comment.

Take the Challenge!

To learn more about how to take the WINFIN Challenge and participate in NaNonFiWriMo next year, click here.

And check out the 2015 Resource page here.

Hyperlinks to books and resources may contain my affiliate code.


  1. Thank you so much Nina for hosting this challenge. I was able to complete the first draft of my book (40K words). I even finished a couple of days early because I was motivated by how few words I had left to write.

    I joined on the spur of the moment on October 31 after deciding that I was not going to attempt to do it a week before. So of course I had no choice but to jump in immediately 🙂 Some days were more difficult than others and it would take me a long time to write just 100 words – other days I had to force myself to stop writing! I even discovered that when I write by hand, I write more words.

    So many lessons learned this month, and this is why I would definitely take the WNFIN challenge again next year – but with a bigger goal! What that non-fiction goal will be, I have no clue. Maybe I will blog a book or do an ‘advanced’ version of the book I wrote this month. Both of those options will be a challenge and that is what I’d be aiming for, giving myself a bigger challenge to blow away any misconceptions I have about not having time or not being able to focus on writing. I’m really looking forward to WNFIN next year and I will prepare earlier for it.

    My next steps are to edit the first draft of my book that I wrote this month and build a plan to see this book to completion. In the meantime, I will focus my daily writing on blog posts and perhaps short stories.

    Thank you so much, again!!!

    PS – I loved your videos this month!

  2. Already committed to working on my book for a minimum of one hour each day — research, interviewing, writing or editing. That still leaves plenty of time to write for others and make that money, while not neglecting myself or family.

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