My email box has been filling up with notices about the annual start of National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org). However, in general, I write nonfiction. If you, like me, consider yourself a nonfiction writer, don’t sit around for the next 30 days twiddling your thumbs and wishing you had a cool contest to enter this month. Instead, join me in starting and finishing a work of nonfiction during November. That’s right, take part in the Write Nonfiction in November (www.writenonfictioninnovember.wordpress.com/) challenge. It happens right here in less than a week.
So, in just about six days, instead of writing 50,000 words of fiction in 30 days, commit to writing an article, a booklet, a newsletter, or a book in the same amount of time. Whatever non-fiction writing project you’ve been putting off, get started now. You can even start a blog and blog for 30 days. It doesn’t matter what you write. Just start and finish a nonfiction project of your choice.
No one will be looking over your shoulder. Write Nonfiction in November does not constitute a contest, and I won’t be handing out a prize at the end of the month. Your award comes in the form of the great feeling you will get from knowing you completed your “assignment.” No one will be counting your words, nor does anyone care how many words you write (not even me). You simply are challenged to write — and to not write alone. I’ll be writing every day, too, and hopefully some other people will be writing as well.
Write Nonfiction in November also constitutes a blog. I invite everyone who is writing non-fiction during November and wants to share their experience to go to www.writenonfictionnow.com/ and post comments. (You can also access it from my web site at www.ninaamir.com.) I’ll be posting blogs every few days about nonfiction writing in general – why I enjoy it, tips on getting published, how my writing is going, etc.
While last year I blogged alone, this year my Write Nonfiction in November blog will offer readers and writers something new and exciting: guest blogs from experts from many areas of writing and publishing. So far the following experts will be blogging with me:
· agent and consultant Philippa Burgess of Creative Convergence
· Mitch Davis (Yearbook of Experts/www.expertclick.com)
· author Ron Arons (The Jews of Sing Sing)
· agent and author Mike Larsen (How to Write a Book Proposal and How to Get a Literary Agent),
· agent and author Katharine Sands (Making the Perfect Pitch)
· Internet and website guru Linda Lee (Smart Women, Stupid Computers)
· Randy Peyser (Author One Stop)
· Annie Jennings (Annie Jennings PR)
· executive magazine editor and publisher Seth Mendelson (McFadden Publications)
I’m still working on getting a few more people to agree to post a blog. I’d like to have at least 15 out of the 30 blogs written by someone other than me this year, so readers can benefit from someone else’s experience and expertise other than mine. Hopefully, that will make Write Nonfiction in November a resource for nonfiction writers not only in November but all year long.
Nonfiction writing offers many benefits and challenges. I love nonfiction writing, because it allows me to explore subjects that are interesting to me and to then share them with others. As a magazine journalist and book author who likes to wrestle with issues in my life or subjects that excite me, I get to spend my days researching those very same issues and subjects, speaking to experts about them, finding answers and solutions to them, and coming up with ideas and theories related to them. Then, I get to craft what I’ve learned into a story – an article, essay or book – that offers what I’ve learned and discovered – and possibly even put to use successfully in my life – into a form that others can read. This then hopefully helps or excites them.
However, the world of nonfiction publishing has changed dramatically over the last few years. It’s getting harder and harder to get a nonfiction book published if you don’t have what they call a “platform.” Magazines and newspapers are discontinuing publication left and right. Self-publishing choices are becoming slimmer rather than broader. Book promotion and sales has become the job of the author not the publisher. For all these reasons, nonfiction writers need to stay educated about the new tools of their trade, such as the Internet and all it has to offer. The nonfiction writer has to wear many hats and has to wear them well to become successful.