“I Know I Can” WNFIN 10-Month Training Program Basics

train wheelsOn Wednesday, I published my first guest blog post on Write Nonfiction in NOVEMBER!. That blog post successfully broke the tradition of seeing this blog  go dark for 10 or 11 months preceding November’s nonfiction writing challenge, which takes place during National Nonfiction Writing Month.

From now until the end of October 2013, you will see my guest blog posts keeping the light on here until the Write Nonfiction in November challenge. They will appear three days a week  as well as on Write Nonfiction NOW! on Fridays and on the first day of the month.

But my posts are not just any guest blog posts. I’ll be providing you with a 10-month training program to help you prepare for WNFIN 2013. Are you ready to begin getting ready for our November nonfiction writing marathon? Great! First, let’s quickly go over some details.

The Basics

As discussed in Wednesday’s blog post, from now until the end of October, we are going to refer to the Write Nonfiction in November nonfiction writing challenge as a “marathon” and we are going to start to prepare for that marathon by training for the next 10 months.

This training program is called “I Know I Can” Write Nonfiction in November. The title of the training program is inspired by the children’s book The Little Engine That Could. Each week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I will post interesting writing prompts. Your job is to create nonfiction writing in response to my prompts. By doing so, you get in shape for the WNFIN challenge, or marathon.

The “I Know I Can” Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) training program is designed for all nonfiction writers (those that write nonfiction offline and online). In other words, whether you are working on traditional query letters, essays, articles, blogs posts, or full-length books (or blogging books), you are welcome to participate!

“I Know I Can” WNFIN will operate on the honor system, exactly like the actual Write Nonfiction in November challenge. Please understand that neither Nina Amir nor I will be checking up on you to see what you are writing or how much. However, if you own a blog and wish to share your nonfiction writing, we encourage you to upload the permalinks of your blog posts in the comments section after each nonfiction writing prompt. We promise to do our best to take a look at your nonfiction writing!

Both Nina Amir and I believe you can do the training for the next ten months. We encourage you to attempt as many of the upcoming writing prompts as possible, all in the name of improving your nonfiction writing and preparing for November’s WNFIN marathon!

We welcome your participation in any way that works well with your personal writing style. It would be lovely to see everyone’s progress. You can also provide feedback on the training program or the writing prompts on the Write Nonfiction in November Facebook page by leaving comments there or starting a discussion.

Writers are Like Actors

Now that we’ve discussed the basics of the “I Know I Can” WNFIN training program, I want to quickly discuss themes. Writing along with themes is fun. Knowing beforehand what theme is being used in a writing project typically inspires emotions. You’re either going to love it or hate it. While a chosen theme may not exactly be your “thing,” I encourage you to go for it anyway.

One of my favorite analogies is comparing writers to actors, especially in their work style. Writers are a lot like actors, or at least, they should be. No actor will ever admit to liking the things they had to do on that hokey cereal, underwear, or toothpaste commercial. The skills required to act in a commercial and the revered role on a soap opera are the same.

Want to be taken seriously as an actor? Bite the bullet and do it. Stop complaining about how small or unimportant the commercial is. No part is too small… The fact remains that the commercial is a part of an actor’s professional resume. It is also an essential building block to getting better gigs.

Do it well the first time, and you’ll be known as a team player. Keep doing it well, and you’ll start to get hand-picked for smaller projects that are better. Do those well, and pretty soon, you’ll find yourself turning down offers for large and small roles. To get to that stage, all actors have to start small and act their hearts out even in the tiniest role on a commercial.

Writers are just like actors in that regard, or at least, the serious writer is. Any writer that is serious about developing his craft will start small, perhaps with a blog, perhaps as a stringer for no pay at a local newspaper. Keep writing well and putting every ounce of your heart into your writing, and before you know it, you will have an enviable body of written work that you can start to shop around.

Some people call starting small “paying your dues.” I prefer to call it an elementary step in the professional career of a writer. To gain respect and credibility in writing, you must prove yourself by writing well and writing often and preferably, by posting your writing work online so people can start to notice you.

My Goals and Expectations

My goal for this training is simple: I want to encourage nonfiction writers to write more, write better, and increase their endurance and confidence levels. The way to do this is by beginning our new “exercise program” in January 2013 as a way of preparing for November’s WNFIN writing challenge. To have the ability to write and complete an entire nonfiction project in November 2013, we must begin in small spurts, starting now.

My only expectation is for you to take a stronger interest in your nonfiction writing and to believe that you “can do it.” Now, it is up to you to strengthen your confidence in your own writing talents and abilities. You may join us at any point of this 10-month training that best suits you.

Check back on Monday, January 7, 2013 to see the first writing prompt!

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 WriteNonFictionNow.com and WriteNonFictioninNovember.com 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 Microsoftclipart.com


  1. I seem to be missing something – where exactly are these “prompts”? The links are just taking me to a page ABOUT this exercise, or ABOUT the author… Obviously I’m missing something!

    • Abbie,
      The prompts begin on Monday! Please visit the blog then and you can get started. Amanda has been explaining the program. You will begin–if you like–then. Sorry for the confusion.

  2. Thanks, Nina – I thought I had missed some as we’ve already had a Wednesday and a Friday after Jan 1st! Looking at the post again, I think “2012” should be “2013”, right? Cheers!

  3. Hi Abbie:
    Nina and I are so happy to see you here. Thank you for your good question. So sorry about the confusion. Nina and I have been working very hard behind the scenes trying to get this new training program up and moving, so it’s very easy to have missed something. I had forgotten to add one small sentence explaining that the prompts begin on Monday. Also, thank you for your astute eyes. You are correct – – the training is in 2013. Small typo. Both issues were corrected. I hope to see you back on Monday and I hope you wll enjoy this new concept that Nina Amir graciously allowed on her site.

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