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NaNoWriMo 2017 is here!

Take a breath. Let it out. The blank page isn't your enemy—it's your laboratory. Approach this first day the same way a scientist approaches an experiment. You study, you plan, you do your best to think about all the possible variables, but when that first day arrives, what you're really doing is learning. You don't know what will happen, and that's the point.

Here's a secret: the first sentence doesn't matter. The first chapter doesn't matter. You'll return to these pieces again and again as you write and revise your story, discovering your characters, perfecting your plot. These pieces will change, and for the better.

The only important thing about the beginning? To begin.

So start with some action. Start with the setting. Start with your character falling asleep at their desk and poking themselves in the eye with a pencil. Start with flying monkeys and underwater amusement parks. Just start.

Excited for you to discover your hidden powers,

Marya Brennan,
Young Writers Program Director

Note: If you're typing in the YWP writing space, be sure to add a new chapter to your novel once it's November 1 in your time zone. Only words written in chapters count towards your word-count goal. Your novel notes are just for practice.

photo of Roxane Gay

Read Roxane Gay's pep talk!

"Before I wrote my first novel, An Untamed State, I wondered if writing a novel was something I could do. The sheer scope of the task overwhelmed me..." 

Read more to get inspired.

Join a Virtual Write-In!

Our first Virtual Write-In of November is being hosted by the great Word Nerds! Join us November 1, at 3 PM PDT. Can't make it during the week? We're hosting three Virtual Write-Ins this Saturday, including a special YWP one at 3 PM PDT. 

Need extra inspiration?

Check out the Pep Talk Archive for inspiration and tips from some old YWP classics, including Lois Lowry, Walter Dean Myers, and John Green. New this year, listen to audio recordings of NaNo staffers reading their favorites.

First time doing NaNo? Need a refresher on how it all works?

 Get a crash course on the basics:


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