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NaNoWriMo is almost here!

October 25, 2011

In exactly one week I will join more than 150,000 other writers all around the world in a 30-day mad dash to write a novel of no fewer than 50,000 words.

It’s called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short… although C thinks that sounds like what you might call a very small Rhinoceros), and this year I am really hoping to finish! You see, back in 2008 I started a novel on November 1st with the best of intentions… not only did I not finish the challenge; now I can’t even remember what I was writing about!


I think it goes without saying that I am hoping this time will be different.

I have been outlining like crazy, and doing all kinds of research so that when next Tuesday rolls around I am READY. To do… stuff. Like write. And not have a life. Laundry might take a backseat… and probably Facebook interactions and phone calls too. So if you want to reach me from November 1st through the 30th, well, maybe try email? Or voicemail. I promise to check my phone at least once a day. Here will be a good place to look, too, as I will be attempting to chronicle my sprint to a novel.

Now, you might be asking yourself: “Why put yourself out there like this if there is a (very real) possibility that you will fail?” (Out of the 167,150 people who participated in NaNoWriMo in 2009, only 32,178 actually met the goal)

And I would say to you: “Because I want to be accountable.” Even if I don’t reach my 50,000 words in 30 days, I want people to know that I mean business. I’m not the type to say, “Gosh, I’d love to write a novel someday.” I think we all know those people, and someday tends to roll around pretty quickly.

Nope! I’m going to make a heck of an effort to get this thing written– my hunk of rock that I will then be able to polish because at least there will be SOMETHING to work with.

So wish me luck! And get ready for 30 days and 30 nights of literary abandon.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2011 23:44

    Good luck with NaNoWriMo! I did Camp NaNoWriMo in August and really enjoyed myself. I hope you have fun and at the end of the month you feel satisfied with your result, no matter if you reach the 50,000 or not.


    • October 26, 2011 07:53

      Thanks! What was the experience like for you? Did you make it across the “finish line”?


      • October 26, 2011 12:37

        I didn’t make it across the finish line. I was planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year even though I knew we’d be moving in the middle of it. I figured I could spend October outlining and such to be ready. When I found out about Camp NaNoWriMo the last week of July I decided that even though I wasn’t as ready as I could’ve been, August was a much better time for me to attempt to get 50K down then November would be.

        For the first two weeks I was really good about getting something down every day. I didn’t always make the daily goal, but some days I surpassed it so it all mostly evened out. Some days I was able to easily write as scenes and conversations were crystal clear in my mind and other times I felt like this was the most painful thing I have ever done. At the end of every day, no matter what my word count was, I was proud of myself. I was finally attempting to write the novel I had been thinking about for the last couple years. It felt good.

        Unfortunately (sort of), at the beginning of week three, we learned that we’re moving to Germany. I suddenly only had ten weeks to get two new passports, special health certificates for the dog, a health screening for me, set up travel arrangements, set up three different set of movers, and about a hundred other things. Some of that could’ve waited, but some of it had to be done immediately or else I wouldn’t have been allowed to move with my hubby. As important as my novel had become to me, getting everything done to have hubby’s orders amended so I could move to Germany with him was more important. So I dropped out due to lack of time and a lack of focus when I did try to write.

        At the time I felt like a failure. I felt embarrassed and ashamed when people asked about how my novel was coming and I had to admit that I was putting it on the back shelf for the time. I had made such a big deal about this doing Camp NaNoWriMo that it was hard to admit that I didn’t and wouldn’t cross the finish line. It took about a week for me to come around to the right mindset. Which is: Sure, I didn’t finish, but I did get a solid chunk written. That’s way more than I had when I started. The whole experience showed me that I do really want to do this; I want to write this novel. I may never finish it via a mad dash like NaNoWriMo, but I’ve already written too much of it to leave it unfinished.

        So that was my experience. Looking back, I don’t regret any of it and I’m glad that I decided to do it. And I just realized this is a crazy long response.


      • October 26, 2011 19:03

        It sounds like it turned out to be a good experience for you in the long run– it must feel really good to have so much of your novel done, and to know that you have the ability to finish it! Maybe something to do while you’re adjusting to your new life in Germany?

        I remember that feeling of embarrassment back in ’08 when I gave up… and I didn’t even have a good reason not to finish; I just didn’t think I could do it. I feel a lot more confident this time around because I have a full outline of my novel and I’ve been working on character sketches, scene outlines, etc. so that I don’t have to stop and figure out what comes next. 🙂

        Thanks again for sharing your experience– it wasn’t too long at all. I really appreciate the detail you went into!


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