Today is October 31st, but I’m not writing this post to wish you a Happy Halloween. I’m writing it to remind you that it’s almost time…to for the beginning of the third annual Write Nonfiction in November (WNFiN) challenge! If putting on a costume and eating candy helps you write, so be it. If hoarding your candy from tonight’s trick or treating escapades allows you to tempt yourself with rewards for an hour or two of writing each day for the next month, go on out fill that pillow case or bag to the brim with goodies! No matter what your technique to get your self to write each day, just be ready to start tomorrow morning bright and early—and to keep going all month long.
Most people realize that November ushers in the end of Daylight Savings Time, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving, but it also welcomes in WNFIN, a unique writing challenge. Unlike its counterpart, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which also takes place in November and requires fiction writers to complete 50,000 words in 30 days to “win,” WNFiN involves no contest. None of the writers are required to submit their work for a word count. Indeed, WNFiN simply poses a personal challenge to every nonfiction writer: start and finish a work of non-fiction over the course of 30 days. You can write an article, a booklet, a newsletter, an e-book, a book proposal, a query letter, or a book.
And while you write, you learn. The largest part of the WNFiN experience involves a 30-day blog hosted by none other than…well…me (Nina Amir), the founder of the challenge. While I wrote every post the first year, last year I invited guest bloggers to join me. This year, I will again be joined by expert guest bloggers – 28 of them! So, you will learn about editing, writing, forms of nonfiction writing, the business of nonfiction writing, publishing, and much, much more. Plus, this year not only can post your comments about the blogs, you also can participate in a writers’ forum available via the blog website itself (look in links).
If you’re wondering why I started this challenge, I’ll reiterate what I said last year. Two years ago I entered NaNoWriMo and “won.” (That novel remains unpublished, although I won the San Francisco pitch contest in 2008 using a pitch for it…) I realized that, while I enjoy fiction writing, I am a nonfiction writer by training and profession. Thus, I wanted a nonfiction challenge to keep me busy in November while the fiction writers were “doing their thing.” For that reason, I started WNFiN. And here we are three years later. Last year, I also placed my posts in my blog at RedRoom.com, and the blog was featured in RedRoom.com’s “Best Blog” series for 12 days! NaNoWriMo has some “rebels” who write nonfiction and have their words counted; they easily can join the WNFiN challenge instead and be with others “of their kind” if they so choose. We aren’t rebels. We are just doing “our thing.”
If you want to know who I am, you can check out the “About Nina Amir” page. Basically, I’m a journalist, writing coach, freelance non-fiction editor, and author has written several booklets, hundreds of articles and six anthology essays. I’m currently working on several books while promoting them and myself via my writing, blogging, websites, and podcasts. You can learn more about me by visiting my websites: www.ninaamir.com.
With all that said, my main point remains: The challenge begins tomorrow. Are you ready? If so, great! If not, it’s time to think about what you want to write about, what project you want to start and complete, what time of the day you’ll set aside for the WNFiN challenge each day, and how you’ll organize your project or what tools or research you need to complete it. Then, get a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow, we begin.
If you wondering why you should bother taking the challenge, here’s my answer to your query: WNFiN provides a chance to accomplish one of your personal writing goals. Every writer has personal writing goals they’d like to meet but don’t. Every writer has a project they want to begin but haven’t—or have begun but not finished. Every writer benefits from a deadline. WNFiN offers nonfiction writers an opportunity to start and finish (or simply finish) a project with the pressure of a deadline. It’s a chance to say, “This time, I really will do it.” That’s how I finished that novel during NaNoWriMo. I figured out how many words I had to write each day, and I met my deadline each day. By the end of the month, I’d completed 50,000 words. WNFiN is no different really. Just break your project down into 30 day pieces and knock them out. By the time 30 days has passed, you’ll have finished your project. You’ll have accomplished a personal writing goal.
I’ll say it again…Take the challenge! Tomorrow begin that nonfiction writing project you’ve being dreaming of starting—and finish it in 30 days. Join me during Write Nonfiction in November.