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6 Alternatives to NaNoWriMo

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Woman from the 1950s writing on paper while sitting at a desk

There are a lot of reasons to do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but there are a lot of reasons not to do it, as well. Perhaps you write short stories instead of full-length novels. Or you simply don’t want to put yourself through the stress of trying to write 50,000 words in one month. That’s okay. And it doesn’t mean you can’t embark on a challenge.

Here are 6 alternatives to NaNoWriMo:

1. NaBloPoMo: National Blog Posting Month

For this contest, you write one blog post per day for the entire month of November. That means at the end, you’ll have a whopping thirty posts. You can either post one each day, or you can save them up to fill out your posting schedule for the months to come. The posts can be any length and about any subject you wish.

There is no longer an official NaBloPoMo website, but you can find other bloggers who partake. Try following the hashtag #NaBloPoMo on Twitter and Instagram.

2. NaPoWriMo: National Poetry Writing Month

This challenge is to write one poem a day for the month. Technically NaPoWriMo is in April, because that is national poetry month, but who says you can’t do it in November instead? There’s no poetry rules police (that I’m aware of).

For more information, check out:

3. NoBoPro: Notebook Project

The goal for this project is simply to fill an entire notebook by November 30. Your notebook can be any size you wish, too. The point of NoBoPro is to write. Forming that habit and maintaining it for 30 days could lead to better writing and better attainment of your future writing goals.

4. Write 2 novellas

Rather than writing one 50,000-word novel, try writing two novellas instead. Novellas range in size from 20,000 to 40,000 words. Perhaps their smaller size makes them feel like a goal that’s easier to accomplish. And if at the end of the month you only have one finished, then, hey, that’s one more than you had at the beginning of the month.

5. Write one 100-word flash-fiction piece every day

Writing flash fiction is, in a way, harder than writing one long story because you have to fit at least a main character and a plot into 100 words. It flexes different a set of writing muscles.

Google “flash fiction prompts” to bring up several options for finding ideas.

6. Read a piece of writing every day

You usually have to be good reader in order to be a good writer. This is how you figure out what you do and don’t like in writing and how you generate ideas. You could read a short story, a chapter in a book, a blog post, or even a news article per day (and switch it up). It’s up to you.

Making a commitment to doing something to improve your writing chops every day for an entire month is a big deal, whether it’s NaNoWriMo or an alternative. And no one wants to let themselves down. To help you, I offer accountability coaching as one of my author-coaching packages.

The Accountability Partner coaching package is perfect if you are a writer who is just looking for someone to hold you accountable for your daily, weekly, and monthly writing goals. As part of the coaching, I’ll reach out to you at least twice per week with encouragement, plus do a quick phone-call check-in to discuss any obstacles and challenges.

You can learn more about this and my other coaching packages here. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at

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