Your New Book Contract

Dear Writer,

If you’re planning on bashing out a novel for National Novel Writing Month this November, you may be getting a little nervous. It could be an excited, “what delightful gems will I harvest from my imagination this time?” kind of nervous. Or maybe it’s more of an “I’m going to throw up on my shoes” nervousness.

Me? I’m worried about my shoes. I don’t have a story idea, I’m traveling a lot in November, and work has gotten crazy. The good news: This describes every NaNoWriMo for me, and I’ve managed to win fifteen years in a row.

Want to know my secret? I’ve put myself under book contract for all my novels. And now I’m putting you under contract, too. You can download our agreement; it’s a one-book deal, and it’s adapted from my NaNoWriMo handbook, No Plot? No Problem!

NaNoWriMo Contract

Just print it out and sign it, and you too can have the accountability, encouragement, and tiny bit of terror that a contract provides. The agreement will help you write when you don’t want to, motivate you to hit your daily word-count goals, and keep you going when the going gets tough.

Most importantly, though, it will help make writing fun again. By following the terms of the contract, you’ll rid yourself of your inner editor and spend 30 blissful days frolicking in your imagination. Your productivity will soar, you’ll write some wonderful and unexpected things, and you’ll emerge from November with a 50,000-word first draft and a renewed sense of creative purpose. It’s going to be great!

If you’re on Twitter and want to increase your contractual accountability, tweet me a photo of your signed agreement, and I’ll tweet back my official (and 100% legally binding) counter-signature.

Congratulations on your book contract, writer! I look forward to writing with you in November.

Warm, wordy regards,

Chris Baty is the founder of NaNoWriMo and the author of the brand-new, revised and expanded edition of No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days. He’s also the co-author of the world’s best novel-planning workbook, Ready, Set, Novel. Chris’ quest for the perfect cup of coffee is never-ending, and will likely kill him someday.



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