How to Prepare for November 2013’s Nonfiction Writing “Marathon”

writers run marathons in NovemberIn mid-October 2012, I entered my seventh month of consistent blogging, successfully laying to rest my original misgivings about blogging in the first place. Yes, that’s right—I had been blogging less than a year and was so proud of my accomplishments I decided to up the ante and give myself another challenge.

Personal Blogging Challenges

What if I challenged myself to write and post daily blogs on the subject matter of gratitude during the month of November? Would I be able to write consistently and upload my writing as blog posts?

Daunted by my own challenge of blogging daily for 30 consecutive days, I chose to face my fears and just do it. My efforts culminated in resounding success, times two. I managed to write not one, but two daily gratitude posts.  Yes, I know I was crazy and didn’t have to do it. I didn’t have someone breathing down my neck or inspiring me to do it. I was, however, inspired by many people who had sponsored or entered similar writing challenges. November felt like the right time for me to do it.

In mid-November, just as I was starting to show signs of burning out and wanting to give up, I discovered Nina Amir’s Write Nonfiction in November challenge, which was very much my style. A clever alternative to the uber-popular NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – a challenge to write an entire 50,000-word novel during the month of November), Write Nonfiction in November was a better fit for me.

How to Achieve the Results I Want

Close to the end of November, I saw some interesting information on Nina Amir’s Facebook posts. I subscribe to several of her Facebook pages, and I happened to see a post from her coaching page. She posed a question to her readers: “What will you do today to make sure you achieve the results you want? Make a list of three things. Then go do them.”

That was so easy; I responded right away. I expressed a desire to achieve more exposure for my blog by continuing to write, post meaningful comments on others’ blogs, and…(drumroll, please) by asking Nina Amir what I needed to do to propose a guest blog post for one of her blogs. To my surprise, Nina Amir replied with concrete information on how to submit ideas.

I kept thinking about what to do and how to do it. Nina Amir has a specific style and brand that is very different than mine.

What idea could I propose that would be meaningful, unique, and fit in with the goals she is trying to accomplish? No small feat, I know, but I was determined to come up with something original. After all, I am the Creative Idea Gal. The ability to come up with creative ideas is as natural to me as the thick, black hair on my head which is now sprouting “salt” streaks in my pepper and calling upon the services of Clairol’s Nice and Easy.

As I ruminated on different ideas for how to accomplish my goal of submitting a sound blog post idea to Nina Amir, something special clicked, in the same exact way as Nina Amir herself describes. I let the spirit move me in my own unique way, completely dictated by God’s peculiar timeline—at 1:00 a.m. in the morning after my toddler woke me up.

Naturally, I couldn’t fall back asleep because this new challenge was stuck in my head: “Come up with an original guest blog post idea for Nina Amir—now!” Unable to control the creativity that gave way like a geyser of fresh ideas, I instantly came up with an interesting plan. With my idea, I hoped to propel Write Nonfiction in November to new heights, further Nina Amir’s professional goals, give a solid boost to my own visibility on the web, and create compelling reasons for blog visitors to visit WNFIN more frequently. I know, quite ambitious, right?

The powerhouse plan I came up with is a unique 10-month training program that offers nonfiction writing inspiration and writing prompts using clever monthly themes. Nina liked my idea and accepted it!

Thinking About WNFIN as a Marathon

If we think of the WNFIN challenge as a writing “marathon” that puts us through extreme tests of original expression in writing, grammar, and word choice wrapped up neatly in one complete nonfiction writing project, we should think about preparing ourselves for such a challenge. By focusing on writing more frequently, starting in January 2013, all of that extra practice will make our participation in the actual writing marathon that much easier.

Put another way, think about real marathons. Runners who run marathons don’t just wake up one day and say they’re going to run a 26-mile course. That would be a bit foolish, no?  Instead, they make the determination that they will run a marathon and begin preparing for it a year ahead of time.

Gaining endurance to run for hours at a time over the span of 26 miles requires serious training. Runners will say they train for marathons by doing runs in their own neighborhood and increasing distances over time.  Other things like water hydration and nutrition programs planned in advance help, too.

Taking on a writing marathon or challenge like WNFIN is no different. You can’t just decide you’re going to wake up on November first and “see what happens.” That sounds like a recipe for disaster! A better strategy is to start preparing yourself mentally and physically to write excellent, outstanding, beautiful nonfiction for hours at a time in November by starting off with small, practical writing exercises in January.

On Friday, I will offer basic information about this 10-month training program and discuss my vision, goals, and expectations. Check back here on Friday to learn more about this training.

About the Author and the “I Know I Can” Write Nonfiction in November 10-Month Training

Inspired by Nina Amir’s Write Nonfiction in November writing challenge, 2012 participant Amanda M. Socci created a unique 10-month training program for and blog visitors.

The “I Know I Can” Write Nonfiction in November 10-month training program will feature intriguing nonfiction writing prompts three times each week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and run from January – October 2013. Those who write nonfiction offline and online are encouraged to participate on the honor system. Grab the badge of honor as a 2013 participant of “I Know I Can” WNFIN and upload it to your blog. Let the world know you are serious about your nonfiction writing!

Follow the prompts three times a week (M-W-F) each week right here, starting on January 7, 2013.

Photo courtesy of



  1. […] Wednesday, I published my first guest blog post on Write Nonfiction in NOVEMBER!. That blog post successfully broke the tradition of seeing this […]

  2. […] of a 10-month training program (“I Think I Can” Write Nonfiction in November) and discussed my inspiration for coming up with this idea. The training consists of writing prompts in which I pose specific […]

  3. […] of Write Nonfiction in November—comparing the month-long November nonfiction writing challenge to a writing marathon. To help nonfiction writers train for the November writing marathon, we created a series of […]

  4. […] are you doing with your marathon training, en route to November’s Write Nonfiction in November writing challenge? Encouraged, energized, […]

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