Do You NaNoWriMo?

If you asked me about NaNoWriMo at this time last year, I would have asked you what language you were speaking. 

I had no idea National Novel Writing Month existed until I noticed a button on a friend’s blog and followed it to to the main site. November was already a few days old, but nearly 200,000 writers worldwide were in a frenzy to complete a 50,000 word novel in thirty days.

I spent the entire afternoon thinking they were all insane.  No one could finish a novel in thirty days…right?  I’d been working for eight months and only had 30K words to show for it. But this nagging little voice in my head kept saying, “You’ll never know unless you try.”

So I did.

There were only a few days when I actually hit the daily mark of 1,500 words, but I was still cranking out ten times more words per week than usual. And it felt awesome. For the first time I felt like a real writer…not someone who wrote as a hobby. 

The best part about NaNoWriMo (for me at least) was the accountability. One of my CPs was participating and would send me an email every evening asking where my pages were. With her encouragement, I wrote 30,000 words in November and finished SAW IT COMING the second week of December.  By February, I was querying and you know the rest of the story.

I don’t intend to write an entire novel in November.  It’s not possible for me unless I give away my kids (not happening).  But, I’m still setting a pretty high goal — 30K again.  It feels goods to have a bar to reach!

On Wednesday, I’ll post about the steps I’m taking to help me prep for November. Hopefully I’ll be a little more organized (read: less crazy) this year than last. 

Are you going to NaNoWriMo this year?  Why or why not?  No judgement either way.  I’m just interested!


  • Cherie Reich

    Yeah, I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year. It’ll be my third time trying, and insanely, I’m contemplating writing two novels in one month. I will have both planned out, but then I’ll see how the first one goes before I start the second one, but I’m considering it. 🙂

  • Carrie

    I love NaNoWriMo. Not sure if I’ll NaNo this year or not. I’m currently revising my WIP and I want to make sure I give that the full attention it deserves. But I love the energy of NaNo and the goals.

  • Jess

    I think I’ll do my own mini one, with a lower word count. I plan on setting my goals between 500 and 1,000 words a day, but will measure my word count by the week to allow for some leeway on some days. We’ll see 🙂

  • Kathryn

    I heard about for the first time NaNo last year, but I was doing edits for my novel at the time, so I didn’t participate. I did NaNoRevMo instead (I have no idea if someone’s already coined that term). This year, I AM NaNo-ing (KathrynSheridanKupanoff–add me!) with my sister, but right now, it’s killing me. I have a working outline for my novel, but I want to start writing it NOW.

  • Laura C.

    Your experience certainly comes across as being a great reason to participate. (You got your agent! Woohoo!)
    But it’s not for me. When I force myself to write, I end up with tons of crap. I need time, sometimes days, to figure out what isn’t working in a scene or how to tie the character arc to the plot more convincingly. If I ever get stuck (often), I know it’s because I’m heading down the wrong path.

  • carrieannebrownian

    I’ve never done it, but last year it helped to inspire me to finally get back to a book (which ended up a family saga) I’d had on hiatus for 16.5 years. I started it partway through November and wanted to see how much I could write before the month was up. I was doing really well on progress during that month, even though I wasn’t officially taking part in NaNoWriMo, and when it was finished after three months, it was 397,000 words. Obviously, the kinds of books I like to write (at least for grownups) are far longer than just 50,000 words!

    I might sign up for it this year, if the sequel to my Russian novel is done in time. I’d probably be doing the third book in that family saga for NaNoWriMo, if I were participating. Is it cheating if you’ve had the book already outlined, have notes on it, and have had it planned in your head for a long time?

  • Carol Riggs

    I don’t usually do NaNo; I don’t need motivation and I don’t like the pressure to write a certain # of words. Often I’m reshaping and thinking, which is a good kind of progress, and I don’t like to have a word count goal each day. I usually finish a novel in about 3 months, and I’m sure it’s tidier than if I’d rushed through it for NaNo. And then I don’t have to redo sections. 🙂

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