One more month until NaNoWriMo starts. More or less.

For those of you who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, we’re talking about a competition that takes part in November. The goal is to write a novel. 50K words or more. That’s not so bad. It’s like 1,600 words a day or something like that.

I found out NaNoWriMo in 2010, when I also found out about self-publishing, and decided that it was time to become a writer. Yeah, and I decided that it’s better to just write in English. To be honest, I don’t know what I was thinking back then, but I managed to finish a novel and ended up self-publishing it a couple of months later.

I was young and naive and incredibly stupid at the time, so I wrote a bad novel. But you know what they say, practice makes perfect.

I’m sure some of you will want to take part in this. You get some stuff as well… last year Createspace offered 5 free paperback copies of your books (you still had to pay for shipping though). Two years ago, they offered a free proof. And there are many other cool stuff you get from other sponsors as well.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking. We should do something together, like a thing to keep us motivated. Well, to keep you motivated while I procrastinate peacefully.

Well, not really. My idea was to write a new novel. And then publish it. For free. Like for free, forever. I’m not sure if I’m going to post stuff here or not.

But if anyone’s interested in taking part in NaNoWrimo, we should definitely get together (online, because I’m sure I live some thousand miles away from any of you) and discuss technical stuff, like planning and outlines and whatever. We could also pretend that we’re army generals planning an invasion.

We could conquer the world. Or we could just try.

What I like most about NaNoWriMo is that it’s supposed to be a stress-free activity. You’re supposed to just write. No questions asked. And it’s cool. It’s simple, it’s easy. Sometimes it’s fun.

So, what do you say? NaNoWriMo or no NaNoWriMo this year?



152 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo

  1. Can't remember what year I did Na no whatsit. There were no freebies back then though. Just a boring badge to put on my blog which I didn't bother with.

    But if there are freebies involved, I could be up for it. And peer group support sounds a good idea. Separate blog for it or forum on nano?

  2. Pingback: NaNoWriMo « debsthoughtstoday

  3. Would love to but not sure how much tine i have- trying to find time to read, draw or write as it is :( good luck tho will hope to do it nxt yr x

  4. I started NaNoWriMo last year but it ended miserably. My school work was being piled on top of me yet, despite having almost triple the amount of work this year, I'm ready to brave NaNoWriMo this year!

    Good luck to you, Cristian!

  5. I tried NaNoWriMo a couple of years ago and although I only wrote about 16 thousand words, I didn't think I failed at all. It loosened up my creative juices for my Big Project ( ongoing battle with that novel!).I have a brother who is an editor and his word of warning to me and any other NaNoWriMo writers is to realise that I should see what I have written, as a first draft only. He pointed out that many people make that mistake and think they have written the oevre of the century in 1 month. And get disheartened with the rejection! So anyone out there trying this for the first time GO FOR IT and then revise revise revise!

  6. I've been wanting do do NaMoWriMo since I heard about it two years ago. The only bad thing is that I will so busy during November (University). But I have an idea for a book, so I guess I just start writing and if I don't exceed the 1600 words a day, I will at least start writing again. :)

  7. I'm about 90% sure that I'm going to NaNo this year. I'd be interested in an online writing group. I haven't been able to find one that fits right in Hawaii.

  8. I'm really hoping that I cando NaNoWriMo this year, but since I'm also starting the first year of my Creative Writing degree, I'm not sure I'll be able to do it. :( I have a synopsis planned out already, but I still need to work on character bios and things like that. Do you think I should go or it anyway? :/

  9. I'm in! this is the first time I'm doing it too! I wrote a post about it on my blog. I'm ready to be creative and let the juices flow. Tell me where to sign up?

    Ps-since you started with nanowrimo, what were the next steps you took to publishing your own books?

  10. Pingback: NaNoWriMo | Susannah Raulino's Blog

  11. Practice doesn't make perfect. "Perfect practice makes perfect." If you practice bad techniques, they will become ingrained. Those bad techniques will become your standard operating procedures. I have commented more in length about this in an essay that I wrote soon after I began battling a mild case of aphasia due to a stroke-like occurrence caused by a burst blood vessel in a benign meningioma attached to my right frontal lobe. The essay was entitled "Words Are More Like Cats Than Dogs." The essay may be found on Aphasia Corner blog at…. Now three years later, on some days words still don't come to me when I call them.

  12. Not sure.

    I credit nanowrimo with a lot of things (getting me back into writing, beginning my blogging journey, 5 wins, a husband…)

    I'm currently editing my first nano from 2004. I've been editing it since I rewrote it in 2009. I plan on using nanowrimo to help me get 3 short side stories written (~50,000 words each), but I don't know if that'll be this year or not. My user name is Ceraphym on the site. =)

  13. I found out about it last year, but couldn't do it as I was studying rather intensively for a Japanese language test. Fully intend to give it a go this year, and both my parents are interested as well – two people who became doctors who should really have become writers :) A national novel writing month group would be fun and useful, I think.

  14. A blogger support group may be something that would motivate me to give this a try again this year. I tried it years ago and got to about 20,000 words. Tried a couple of years later and didn't get very far. I have two novels I've started. I could focus on one of them and see how far I could go to completing in November.

  15. I'm in! I've tried for the last several years but have always had too many interruptions. Hopefully this year I can keep with it and reach my goal!

  16. I tried NaNoWriMo last year, and lasted only a few days. Unfortunately, I could get very little time to do it, and when I did have time, I had no privacy and no quiet. I really want to, though!

  17. Love NaNo… and would love to be a part of a group effort this year. Does this mean everyone signs on individually? I think it will energize me in my other ongoing projects! Thanks for putting it out there.

  18. Ugh. Does anyone have advice for NaNoWriMo-ing for working single parents? I don't want to be a 'but, but, but…'' person, but if anyone has a strategy that worked for them I'd like to hear it. Thanks in advance. :)

  19. NaNoWriMo is the vehicle I'm using to finally sit down and write my novel, so I'm definitely in! I've been wanting to do it for years now but because of school etc it never happened. Not this year. This year, I'm so doing it. :D

  20. I just signed up for it, actually!! I'm planning on doing it, but since I'm gonna be gone the first half of November, I'm not sure if it will work out…

  21. NaNoWriMo deffinatly! What is your NaNo user name? Mine is:

    Last year a wrote a romance, basically because it was easy and I knew that i wouldn't get too stuck. Need another 500 words or so? Make them kiss!

    I want to do something different this year though. Something cool. Maybe sci-fi or dystopian …i haven't really had time to think about it yet. Its scaring me already! NaNoWriMoians can rule the (writing) world!

  22. Wow. I have heard a LOT of excuses why people are NOT doing NaNo, and few people who are participating no matter what…here is my reasons FOR doing Nano… despite my heavy schedule I am going to participate in Nano regardless…I think you MAKE time for the things you really are invested in. It is a time when thousands, if not millions of writers, are focused on the same goal…to write…how cool is that? Like a huge runner's marathon, but with writers. It gives me a chance to talk with other writers and see how they think and plan… how they approach writing and better ways to do it. It's a writer's support group. It's fun! And, Nano made me sit down, focus, and really write. I completed big writing goals for once…because I stopped all the excuses and just wrote. I wrote my first complete novel with NaNo and my second…and my third. I think I started in 2007 or 2009, and I completed 2010 and 2011. I have published non-fiction articles as well because of Nano. I have created 7 blogs because of Nano. I am teaching how to create blogs at the local library and junior college next month. The whole purpose of Nano is to stop the procrastination and the excuses and just focus on writing…for ONE month. You can do ANYTHING for one month. You just got to be in the right mindset and DO IT. Don't allow yourself to be sidetracked with negative thoughts… like I don't have the time, I got to do this or that, etc. Most writers have a very busy life full of obligations and still manage to write everyday. You can too. No one said it would be easy. But, everyone has the same 24 hours a day. Figure it out. Then do it. Five minutes here and five minutes there. It all adds up. You are right, if you don't have the right attitude…you won't be able to find the time to write. Face it, it's becasue you aren't invested in BEING a writer…you are invested in DREAMING about being a writer. That's what separates the dreamers(aspiring writers) from the writers (people who actually write). Nothing wrong with dreaming…I love to dream and it helps with "pre-writing" thinking and planning…but, it doesn't get any words on the page, now does it? Students and parents and other "busy" people have found ways to manage their time, meet their obligations, and still write. Because they are driven…because they can't NOT write. They can't see themselves NOT writing. No one said it would be perfect or you had to be perfect. No one said you HAD to reach 50,000 words or you would turn into a pumpkin at midnite on November 30th. And, really now, if you had time to post here, then you have time to participate in Nano. Come on people! Follow the Nike commercial…and just….do it ! Writers WRITE. Let's do this! :-)

  23. Nanowrimo got me going originally too… But, I have to say, I feel like I write better when I slow the heck down and actually reread as I go. Do you feel this way or are you able to produce work you're proud of without looking back? Either way, I plan to still participate in some capacity again, I just might not have 50k words be my goal :)

  24. This will be my first year of doing nanowrimo. I'm excited to try. I've hooked up with one other newbie at the site itself, but I'm always open to a group to join to chat, complain, cheer each other on..

  25. So funny to wake up and find this blog. I was just lying in bed planning out the religious belief systems for my si-fi novel that I'll be writing this NaNo. I already have an outline for it, but it needs to be embellished because I've fleshed it out more in my imagination. I find half the prep for NaNo is just to get totally obsessed with your idea for your novel, so by the time November comes around, you are just chomping at the bit waiting to write the darn thing.

    I even thought of a cover design this morning.

    Viva la NaNo!

  26. Hmmm . . . I'm intrigued! Might be a great experience for somebody like me who spends WAY more time rewriting than writing . . . speaking of which, I'm gonna post this comment QUICK (before I succumb to the temptation to rewrite it several dozen times).

  27. If I had something to say, I would join.

    These days, I have less to say because it seems that I've found what I'm looking for in life and just want to enjoy it. The cerebral self has a way of owning your life–and years slip by and your realize that you are a decade older and have been lost within your own mind instead of actively living your life.

    And so, maybe I'm a minority on this, but I don't think anyone should do this project unless they are really compelled to say something…like publishing a story that plays in your head like a movie and you'd rather watch your own movie that someone else's, or like putting an incredible biography out there, or revealing a life-altering discovery, or sharing useful information that can help others.

    Writing for the sake of writing can steal some of your life. So, Nano away if you have something to say. ;) ~Sonya

    • I really get what you are saying but I feel that in reverse…there is so little time in my life to think that by forcing myself to find the time to write I may even find I had something to say

  28. I'm going to try my best to do NaNoWriMo. Getting involved will certainly give me the kick in the butt that I need to get my writing going. Hey, it worked the last time!

    But I also am more busy this year. Working full time had taken a lot of my time, so it will be very hard to squeeze in 1,600 words per day – or any words, even. So I will try my best and do what I can. But I don't think I'll give up halfway through. If I do, I better have a good reason such as time constraints.

  29. 2010 was my first year with NaNoWriMo. Last year, I helped my daughter write a story. Not sure I'll do it this year. I'm still working on that 2010 book. I'm toying with the idea of reworking it into a series of short stories instead since my main issue was the continuity of the main plot line. I'm also working on another book. My goal is to have that one finished by Christmas.

  30. I participated in NaNoWriMo last year (and Script Frenzy this spring). I'm planning on giving it a shot again; I didn't finish my novel the first time, so just getting to 50K words will be a huge feat.

  31. I'm not sure whether I'll do NaNo this year. I tried it last year mostly because I'm co President of our school writing club, and I wanted to encourage our members to try it. The problem is that I'm already working on a novel, and according to the rules it doesn't count if you continue working on an existing one. So in this case, I feel like that might be counter productive.

  32. I think I'd love to do it, but this year makes it impossible. I'm in school at the moment and this semester is easily the most grueling. Add on a job and other responsibilities, this year is not good. Fortunately, it's also my last semester, and once life settles down a notch, I can get back to writing as much as I have before and love to do. I may challenge myself to something like this after the first of the year, just to do it, without having to wait for November (and who-knows-what kind of busyness).

  33. I've been procrastinating NaNoWriMo for years now, sadly. I'm going to dive in this month and do it. I have some ideas floating around in my head, so if you want to work on something together, send me a message and let's talk.

    P.S. I'm glad you enjoyed the quote that I put up!

  34. I'm so glad you reminded me of NaNoWriMo! I did it (most of the month) about three years ago, and some of that copy eventually made it into my memoir. I'm in!

  35. I like your idea of getting everyone together for NaNoWriMo. Will you post some things here for those of us who don't use Facebook or could you have a separate wordpress site just for NaNoWriMo? Best of luck with the group!

  36. Awesome..I read two of your short stories, memento more and one at a stretch. Great work. You really got the magic with words and the substance to go forth, a dream which I always had. Please let me know how we can Start the nano wrimo together

  37. I am going to do NaNoWriMo this year too! This will be my fourth year. I self published each novel from the competitions and I will be the first to tell you they aren't perfect, but I love them. As a writer I think it is important to have a writing project that reminds you why you love writing, why writing is fun. I love the idea behind just writing furiously for a month. The end result won't be perfect – but the journey is a hell of a lot of fun. I would love to be in a writing group.

  38. I am definitely taking part in NaNoWriMo this year. I'm currently outlining my project, and will continue to do so for the next 31 days. So, yes, I'd like to be a part of your NaNoWriMo network as well.

  39. I wondered if anyone may feel differently and like listening to different perspectives. But this view feels random to me (but I'm not you, so who knows?)

    Writing makes me feel alive, but I've come to believe that the privilege to write (even when practicing the stream of consciousness method) comes with responsibility to have purpose and real intent to accomplish a life project when producing text or prose…or else possibly waste your life in a state of a cerebral stasis. It's my view at least. xx ~S

  40. NaNoWriMo is awesome! I first heard about it in 2010 as well and successfully reached the 50k word mark. Though I haven't done it since, I still have fond memories of trying to develop a story in just thirty days. Best of luck to you in the challenge!

  41. I never could turn down a challenge. I'd love to try it. Never even attempted a novel before, but I suspect it's about time.

    Christian, in addition to numerous other business-type skills, I' m project manager. If you need back up on operations, logistics, data tracking, editing, deadlines, coordination, etc., let me know.

    I look forward to learning from you all!

    Thank you!

  42. A couple of years back I did something akin to NaNoWriMo, but instead of a novel, I wrote a novella. I was more comfortable with the number of words I had to write per day, and was able to complete my draft while my other writer friend stumbled, fumbled, then stopped because couch to 50K is a difficult task, even when the 50K is run with fingers on keys instead of feet on pavement.

    I might do it again this year, depending on how quickly I crank out a script that I need to write in October…

    Best of luck!

    You all have my support.


  43. I completed NaNoWriMo last year and finished my first novel. I hoped to be done my second novel before now. Looks like I need the pressure of NaNoWriMo after all. Good luck to you and all who take up the November writing challenge. I'd like to be a part of this group.

  44. I'm in. Just created a profile. Will start tomorrow. 50k words = about 1615 per day so roughly 6 pages double spaced I think. Not sure how many days I'll hang in there for but I'm up for anything that progresses me to something more!

  45. Wow, what a way to get it done. I suppose if that were the main thing you did for a year that would be possible. I know I can't make that kind of dedication this year but it's inspiring for myself in writing my own book, which I've wanted to write on firing your agent as a model.

  46. Yeah I'm in. I've been meaning to do it for the last few years but kept getting distracted by life and other things. But I've got a WIP that I've been slugging away at for the last few years so it's time to open a blank document and start again. Hopefully this time I actually finish it, so mutual support would be great, the rewards they offer don't count so much as just finishing the book!

  47. Haha, I'm already on NaNoWriMo, aiming for 50k words. But I'm on the Young Writers site. Found out about it this year and looking forward to November – although it's great hanging out on the forums beforehand too!! Have fun :D

  48. Hi, my name is Dawn and I'm a Nano addict. I work and in a sense am a single 'parent' in that my 84yr mother lives with me. I've completed 4 Nano's so far and am gearing up for my 5th this year. I aim for 2000 words a day which leaves me 5 free days in the month for other things (theoretically). My writing time starts around 10pm (when everyone else is in bed and quiet reigns) and sometimes I have to force myself to stop at 2am. Once I'm in the zone the rest of the world doesn't exist. When I start each Nano I'm quite slow, averaging about 500 words an hour, but as Nano progresses the pace picks up and I can get about 1000+ an hour. I don't do much planning, just have a vague storyline in my head when I start (too much planning kills the joy of the adventure, trust me). I recommend Nano founder Chris Baty's book 'No Plot? No Problem'. An excellent and amusing guide to writing the first draft in just 30 days. I bought it after my first Nano and wish I'd had it before :) The most important thing about Nano, I believe, is to enjoy the ride. And remember, even if you only write e.g. 15000 words, that's 15000 words that wouldn't have existed if you hadn't tried.

  49. Oh frack, it is October already?

    I think I'm going to have to pass on NaNoWriMo this year. My schedule definitely doesn't give me the chance this time around. Good luck to all of you who will give it a shot!

  50. Christian, the idea sounds good, but I will not tackle another book at the moment. My book #3 has just been published three days ago, I am burned out for so much writing. I will just take care of marketing the new book and continuing blogging.

  51. I did Nanowrimo for the first time in 2007, wrote 2,000 words a day, and stopped the minute I hit 50,000 words because I just couldn't figure out where I was going with the book. But it was a good experience and gave me confidence as a writer. Before the month of November was out, I had applied for a job as arts & entertainment editor at the local newspaper. I kept signing up for Nanowrimo every year since, but never got very far, as the newspaper job took all my time. I was laid off this year, though, so might give it another try, even though I am busy with freelance work. It can be a good experience, even if you don't get a novel out of it.

  52. Add another 'yes' to the overwhelming response you've gotten; I've been planning on NaNo for a little while and I start my outlining today. What's your first step (or what was your first step when you did NaNo)?

  53. Don't know how you'd feel about having somebody join the facebook group who is writing non-fiction, rather than a novel. Although I wouldn't be able to officially submit my manuscript, I'm totally up for the word-count challenge (as well as offering and receiving encouragement). Besides, my favorite works of non-fiction read like novels so, for the sake of my manuscript, I couldn't be in better company!!!

  54. Interesting idea. I would be up for trying to conquer the world with you, well with the "we's" that are forming up. Or at least, finding out more about this project and this 'think tank'. And thank you for bringing this to light.. I had never heard of NaNoWriMo before.

  55. I can see your perspective and in some ways my idea is tangential to rather than diametrically opposed to it. I'm hoping to use this experience to "jump start" my thought process again, similar to a car battery that is dead. If I can get my engine running again I hope it will charge my battery which is very flat these days. Blogs like yours are like a spark to help that. x

    • Oh–I get it. Once you start writing you begin recharging…sort of the same concept as the electric car that recharges itself as it is being driven. So cool and this is inspirational stuff. Thank you for encouraging me. xx ~Sonya

      • Thanks for listening. Nobody has commented yet on my page so it is nice to interact – the 'like' stats feel like a Tango ad – a drive by surprise pucker from an orange painted man.

  56. I haven't completed my profile yet, but I noticed that there are forums and groups. Ought we create one of those in addition to a facebook group? Not everyone uses facebook (I don't – long story, unrelated to anything here.) and it would be disappointing to miss out…

  57. I'm really excited for it. Writing has always seemed like a hobby to me. Something inaccessible as a profession unless you had the next Harry Potter. Buying books for a living I also saw just how much was out there. The best thing about NaNoWriMo is that it strives to stop you from being afraid of trying.

  58. Hey, Cristian, I would like to be your writing buddy for NaNoWriMo 2012 :) If you are interested, I think it would be really fun :)

  59. I have at least tried to start the challenge every year. Admittedly, I tend to fall of the bandwagon for one reason or another, usually work and school tire my brain out enough. This year I am a university senior an internship and eighteen credits, extracurricular commitments, and I am leaving for Japan before November will be over. I'll still try it again, and all of the above sound like excuses, I know!

    My goal for this quarter was to have poetry published, though, so my writing hasn't dissipated yet.

  60. I did Nanowrimo last year, and it was quite fun. It was a Time travel Fantasy Horror Romance Mystery. I could watch the story improve, and my enjoyment of writing it.

    I may do it again this year, but I certainly will do some large writing project.

  61. Pingback: NaNoWriMo 2012 – Are You Taking The Plunge? « ReadingToTheStarsAndBack

  62. Pingback: ~ Jenine Silos ~ » Writing Your First NaNoWrimo Novel

  63. I'm finally doing NaNo this year! I tried one year but just after I started an immediate family member passed away and I lost all interest in it that year. I'd completely forgotten about it until I began reading about it a month or so ago when checking out other blogs I follow. So count me in!

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