One Reason to Write a Book in a Month

by Joe Bunting | 17 comments

Today is the first of November. For many writers, that means one thing: National Novel Writing Month has begun.

One Reason to Write a Book in a Month This NaNoWriMo

Are you going to accept the challenge and write a novel this month? Join us and get the support, training, and accountability you need to get the most out of this month. Get the details and sign up here »

Maybe you’ve been planning your NaNoWriMo novel for weeks, even months. You’ve got your plot laid out, you’ve written sketches of all your characters, you’ve done a heap of research, and you’ve been raring at the bit to start writing.

Maybe you were recently inspired to write, and you decided to commit to writing a book this month just a few days ago. You have some ideas of what your book will be, and you’re excited to “pants” your way through thirty days of writing dangerously.

Or maybe you haven’t decided to write a book this month. You’ve seen the hype and you’ve wondered whether it’s worth it, but now, on day one, you’re still on the fence, not quite ready to take on this challenge.

One thing’s for sure: writing 50,000 words in 30 days takes a lot—a lot of dedication, of imagination, of perseverance. It’s important to know why you’re writing at all.

Focusing on that reason for starting will help you power through when the writing gets hard and you’re tempted to quit.

Want to learn how to write a book from start to finish? Check out How to Write a Book: The Complete Guide.

Why Write a Book in a Month?

There are hundreds of reasons to write a book in just thirty days. Today, though, I’ll focus on just one: practice.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you’ll practice by writing a book in thirty days.

Writing every day

In order to tackle this audacious writing goal, you’ll have to write every single day. We’ve written before about why developing a daily writing habit is an essential part of becoming a writer.

There’s no better way to ensure you’ll start—and maintain—that habit when you have the looming prospect of an impending deadline creeping closer and closer.

Writing without editing

It’s difficult to let your imagination run wild when your inner editor wants to polish every sentence as you put it on the page. Here’s the paradox of writing well: if you want to write something worthwhile, you have to let go of perfectionism and give yourself permission to write poorly first.

When you write a book in thirty days, there’s simply no time to edit. Remember those impending deadlines? They’ll help you shut that inner editor down so you can finally finish a first draft.

Writing through writer’s block

No matter what writing project you tackle, at some point you’ll probably find yourself stuck. You’ll hit a wall, you’ll stare at that blank page, and you’ll wonder why every good idea you had has dried up and disappeared.

It’s all too easy to let that blocked feeling grind your writing to a halt. But with an audacious goal and a community holding you accountable, you’ll have the motivation and support you need to write your way through the block and rediscover inspiration on the other side.

Writing a book

This may sound like a no-brainer, but hear me out. When you write a book in thirty days, you’ll practice the process of writing an entire story from beginning to end.

You’ll practice structuring a book, crafting a compelling plot, and developing believable characters. You’ll work on writing realistic dialogue, vibrant description, and vivid action. You’ll get better at setting up a story with essential exposition, raising the stakes, building up to the climax, and wrapping it all up with a satisfying resolution.

When you finish, your book won’t be perfect, and that’s okay. It will be written—and better yet, you will be a better writer.

This Is No Easy Task

It’s all well and good to talk about the great results of writing a book in thirty days. But we all know this is no small thing.

It is not easy to write 1,666 words every day, to get up and put words on the page even when you just want to quit, to get inspired when you’re stuck in the ugly middle, to persevere when every sentence you write seems terrible.

You know this, and we know this. That’s why we’ve put together a program to give you the support, training, and accountability you need to make it through those rough patches and reach “The End” by November 30.

We’ll send you weekly lessons with the training you need to write a good book, as well as daily emails to inspire your writing time. We’ll hold you accountable to weekly deadlines, with consequences to give you the motivation you need to meet them.

And we’ll connect you with our community of NaNo-ers, other writers who will support you when the writing gets rough, inspire you when your ideas run dry, and celebrate with you when you breeze past your word count goals.

Sound interesting? Get all the details and join us here »

Challenge Yourself to Practice

Writing a novel in thirty days isn’t for everyone, it’s true. Still, I encourage you to consider whether it’s for you.

Is this the month for you to finally write your book?

If it is, why don’t you come write with us?

Even if it’s not, don’t let yourself off the hook just yet. What writing challenge will you set yourself? How will you practice writing?

That’s a question that’s always worth asking.

Are you ready to accept the challenge and write a novel this month? Join us and get the support, training, and accountability you need to get the most out of this month. Get the details and sign up here »

How are you practicing writing this month? Let us know in the comments!


Today, let’s practice writing without editing. Here’s your prompt: someone wants to enter a marathon, but something’s holding them back.

Write for fifteen minutes without stopping to edit. Just let your imagination run wild!

When you’re done, share your writing in the comments, and don’t forget to leave feedback on your fellow writers’ pieces!

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.


  1. Lady Tam Li Hua

    I’ve done NaNo before, and won a couple of times. This time, I don’t know if I’ll do one. I ended up with a lot of unusable story, but that may just be a matter of course..

    • William E Daye

      I don’t believe any story is unusable. I believe you can make the manuscript the best you yourself can possibly make it, only abiding by your own expectations. Best of luck. I hope to enter and participate in this sometime.

  2. Jeffrey Allan Boman

    I’ve done NaNoWriMo 11 times, winning the first 4.

    It’s a great practice, but I’m not doing it this year, as I have other projects to finish.

    • William E Daye


      Your experience with NaNoWriMo is very refreshing to hear and also comes across as honest.

  3. William E Daye

    As the saying goes, “There is always next year,” this seems to be the theme every time a contest comes around. This is another moment that I unfortunately have to say, “There is always next year.” Trying to achieve academic excellence, start a new job/continuing to look for other jobs, and write a story in 30 days all at the same time sounds like a really fun challenge. I wish things were different. I may finish the story in 30 days just for my own satisfaction regardless of contests. As the last line in my story I am thinking about goes, “At the same time I believe winning is everything, I also believe there is also room for improvement.”

  4. Mike Van Horn

    My #1 reason not to write a new novel this month? I’m already in the middle of one. Actually rewriting and editing one started last year for Wrimo. Dropping that one and starting a new one would be nuts.
    So I’m using Wrimo ’16 to edit the one I’m working on, “My Spaceship Calls Out to Me,” which is maybe two-thirds done. Jeez, these stories can take a long time to get done!
    This may not lie strictly within the rules of Wrimo, but it’s within the spirit. Having the 30-day goal, along with that bar graph with the target that climbs each day, is a real motivator.
    But I’ll be entering edited chapters instead of newly written material.
    Now, this may not get me to 50k. If not, then I’m brainstorming some short stories around songs I’ve written for this novel. Those will be loosey-goosey holoholo first drafts. I’m calling those “Alien Songs, Distant Worlds.”

  5. Jason Bougger

    I’ve complete NaNoWriMo 2 out of 3 attempts. I won’t be doing it this year, as I’m already working on a couple of other projects, but I do think it’s a terrific exercise for new writers. The emotional victory of finishing a first draft for the first time makes it worth the time and effort for sure.

  6. A.S. Akkalon

    Sadly, I won’t be doing NaNo this year. I’m deep in the midst of editing a WIP, and making progress on it seems like a better use of my time right now than starting something new. But I will be cheering on all the crazy NaNoers from the sidelines!

  7. Mike Van Horn

    Joe, you asked us to share our writing practice, so here’s one thing that works for me–long trips by air. We just returned from Hawaii–five hours each way. On the way over I entered edits suggested by readers on Becoming Writer, and coming back I wrote severn (7!) short pieces that elaborate themes in some of my songs sung by aliens.

  8. James Wright

    Ask me after week one, I’m only 84 words into chapter one. LOL. Great article Joe

  9. Reagan Colbert

    I’ve decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo. I’ve been writing for 5 years, but this year is the first time I’ve actually considered it. I decided against it, because I simply can’t be told when to write, how much to write, or how long I have to do it. I did actually write an 18k word book in exactly one month (It was the first book in my Amazon series), but only because I didn’t feel pressured into it.
    I am looking forward to seeing what my friends accomplish this month! I was a rebel – my third book was actually released today on Kindle. Wishing everyone the very best with NaNoWriMo 2016!!

  10. bernadette

    I did one last year; found my way Here; made progress.
    Trying again this year, better prepared.

  11. Sefton

    I’m not officially doing Nano this year. I’ve been doing it since 2001 so I’ve already cracked the 50000 words in a month thing. I do recommend it to anyone who’s not had the experience – it makes you understand what great things you can achieve with commitment and a deadline. The first time out I wrote 50000 words in 14 days. At the time I had not idea that was even possible. (I was younger then… no kids…more energy!)

    Like a lot of other commenters I have a work in progress, so rather than start anything new, I’m using Nano to boost my word count on the first draft of that (to the end) and after that, to write a story i have in my head for another challenge. Upping word count to 1600 every day will make a big difference to when I finish this book.

    Nano works on the honour system so you should use it for whatever purpose suits you best. It’s only a tool developed way back when by Chris Baty to ward off noveling procrastination. Use it however you like! -Sef

  12. Bruce Carroll

    Character wants to enter a marathon, but something is holding “them” (him or her?) back. For me, the research alone will take more than fifteen minutes. I know training is required for a marathon. I don’t know what that training involves. I’d have to get myself into the mindset of someone who wants to enter a marathon in the first place. Why do people want to enter marathons? There are probably lots of reasons. I have to have a pretty good reason just to go downstairs, so it would take some research and thinking before I could begin to understand such a character.

    Just reread the above. I never write with out editing. I don’t need to do a spit-polish edit as I go, but I do have to at least make enough sense out of a piece that I won’t be lost later. The irritation of a misspelled word or incorrect sentence will distract me from my writing until I go back and fix it….

    Stopped in the middle of that paragraph to reread again.

    I think both marathons and NaNoWriMo are not for me. On the other hand, I may need to interview some runners I know. Maybe a marathon can work its way into Akiko’s story somehow…..

  13. TerriblyTerrific

    I do agree with bettering our writing skills, which, would make this a great opportunity. I have to concentrate on the books I published already. I have a lot of work to do on them. Thank you.

  14. ToscaSac

    I completed NaNo 2014. I am toe dipping this year. I write non fiction so, rebel status forever confirmed. I learned to write while blogging despite all my best English teachers work.

    I write and then I edit. I can write on demand or regularly but I like to wait until I feel passionately about something.

    I can’t think of one reason why every writer shouldn’t at least try NaNo. For me the 50k word goal seemed more daunting before I did it and before I realized it was about an hour of typing a day.

  15. Diana Robinson

    Well, I had every intention of participating in the NaNoWritMo this year but life got in the way again. However, since the month is not over and after reading your blog post today, I am going to start today and just see how far I get. Thanks for the encouragement.


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