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National Novel Writing Month for Professional Writers

National Novel Writing Month is a November-centered novel-writing challenge. So it might seem more than a little odd to make a professional writing post about it.

In September, moreover.

However, hear me out anyway – especially if you’re a business blogger.

For those of you who have never heard of National Novel Writing Month, fondly known as NaNoWriMo, it’s insanity. Utter, complete and total insanity, where typically sadistic writers turn masochistic and compete for the Most Likely to Take a Trip to the Psych Ward title.

The point is to write the first 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days, beginning at 12:00 a.m. November 1 and ending at 11:59:59 on November 30. For Americans especially, this means finding extra hours to write around Thanksgiving prep and the start of the Christmas shopping season – on top of life’s normal responsibilities.

Hence the reason why it’s masochistic.

Now, none of this is to promote S&M among the professional writing community for the sake of S&M. Far from it. But there could be some professional writing perks to spending one month as a creative writer.

Consider these possibilities…

If you’re a business blogger, you could add a new flair to your daily or weekly posts by participating in National Novel Writing Month. Make the story fit with your blog.

For example, what if you keep a culinary site? You could write the story about a chef and amateur sleuth, or perhaps tell the tale of how a lawyer helps heal her marriage by taking a cooking class with her hubby.

Admittedly, I’ve been creative writing for three decades now – and there’s no way I would ever share a Jeannette DiLouie-original first draft with my followers. Not unless it was for a significant teaching moment. So I’m not even going to suggest you bare your newly minted creative writing soul like that.

But you can still keep your readers updated about your progress and maybe even create polls asking them what ingredients you should work with in the next chapter or some such thing.

There's plenty of room to run here. Just like there’s plenty of room to expand your professional writing capabilities.

That’s true regardless of whether you’re a business blogger or not. You could be a journalist, an essayist or the lead writer of a newsletter and still benefit from NaNoWriMo.

Whenever a writer switches out of his comfort zone, it teaches him a thing or two. Different vocabulary has to be considered. New styles have to be weighed for worthiness. And varying perspectives need to be analyzed.

Any one of those aspects, much less all of them together, can nudge writers out of writing ruts. Which are very real things. We’re too apt to think we’re doing well once we hit our stride instead of seeing how much better we can still become.

National Novel Writing Month has a way of turning our delusions upside down and therefore setting us “write” side up.

If you’re intrigued by those possibilities, you now officially have the next 55 days to really think them through. Consider whether your schedule will allow appropriate NaNoWriMo time or not. Maybe even see if there’s a local writing group you can join to help you get set up and/or motivate you along the way.

As a business blogger or professional writer in general, you never know… National Novel Writing Month could turn out to be just what your writing needs.


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