Goodbye Booktober, Hello Novel November

October is drawing to close. Leaves are falling, the air is crisper, even the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte has made its triumphant return. For students, this final transition from summer to fall, and into winter, marks the time to buckle down and surrender to the tsunami of work that is imminent on the horizon. Such are the changes implied by the coming of November. For book fans and writers alike, the month of November marks the end of Booktober (a celebration for book lovers to read as many books as possible) and the beginning of Novel November.

Unbeknownst to most people, November is actually National Novel Writing Month, and last year there were over 300,000 participants. Of course, for most students, another assignment is the last thing needed, especially when the school year is just hitting its stride. However, the point of Novel November isn’t to layer more work on top of everything else. It’s to find something that inspires you, and to run with it as far as you can. It also helps build self-discipline by writing a little bit every day. And the end result is the best of all – at the end of the month, if all goes well, you’ll have your very own novel. It never hurts to try, especially if writing is a passion you’re attached to, but you just can’t seem to find time. At the very least, you’ll have a start-up that will continue to grow into something spectacular.

There are a few simple things you can do to keep yourself on track during Novel November:

1. Schedule a specific time each day to write.

It’s just like working out or practicing an instrument; as long as you dedicate a small chunk of time to it each day, your work will grow exponentially. Sure, that might mean dropping an hour that normally would’ve been dedicated to Netflix or scrolling through the Internet, but consider it time well spent.

2. Never leave your story on a cliffhanger.

I know from experience that if you leave your writing on a cliffhanger without a solid idea of where the plot is going to go next, it will be a struggle to try and figure out how to resolve the conflict in question, however brilliant it may be. Always know where you’re going, and putting in that extra hour will be easy, just a continuation of an idea you had yesterday.

3. Stick with it!

Rome wasn’t built in a day, as the saying goes. A book won’t just spring up out of nowhere; it’s a project that has to be pieced together chapter by chapter, day by day, and as long as you stay committed to it and manage your time wisely, by the end of the month, you’ll be a novelist.

Will you be participating in Novel November?

Image: Tim Geers