Writers Write shares writing prompts and writing resources. Use these writing prompts for October 2023 to get you writing.
It’s October and that means many writers are getting ready for NaNoWriMo. That is National Novel Writing Month and the goal is to write 50 000 words in 30 days. It starts on 1 November.
It is a fascinating challenge and one that has helped many writers succeed and complete their books, but not everyone is successful. Writers who tend to overwrite seem to have more success than writers who underwrite and it is certainly an exercise in quantity rather than quality.
That said, it is a brilliant challenge if you can make it through 30 days and write 50 000 words, but I am more intrigued by what happens after the 30 days.
Most of us think that if we can write every day for 30 days, we’ll keep on doing it long after midnight on 30 November, right? Sadly, we don’t. The pace is intense and even if you try to maintain the balance it does take a toll on your life. Like a crash diet, it is not sustainable. It is exhausting. The crash diet may be effective in the beginning, but a healthy lifestyle and long-term eating plan is more realistic.
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear talks about systems vs. goals. He argues that systems are more important than goals because they are more sustainable. When you focus on a goal, you are only motivated to take action when you are close to achieving it. But when you focus on a system, you are motivated to take action every day, regardless of how close you are to your goal. Systems are ongoing and don’t have a clear endpoint.
He says, ‘You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.’
This means that your success is not determined by your goals, but by the systems that you have in place. If you have a good system, you will achieve your goals, even if you don’t set any specific goals.
So, is NaNo a good idea? Yes, I love anything that gets you writing. Think of it as a kickstarter, but be realistic about the long-term effects. If you want to keep writing every day after the thirty days, that is great, but I would reduce the word count. Make it more manageable. I’d even recommend working on something else entirely after such an intense experience. Try prompts and free writing, until enough time has passed for you to start with the rewrite.
If you do want to try NaNoWriMo download our great plotting guide that will help you achieve your goal.
Download your prompts here: 31 Writing Prompts For October 2023
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by Mia Botha
Looking for more prompts?
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