NaNoWriMo is an abbreviation of National Novel Writing Month is a non-profit writing event held every November where participants attempt to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in exactly 30 days. There’s also a more informal version of the event every April and July called Camp NaNoWriMo which expands the challenge to scripts, non-fiction, memoirs and other projects while offering variable word count goals. There was also a sister event called Script Frenzy (nicknamed Screnzy) which was retired in 2012 where participants could write scripts, screenplays, comics and more.
A participant since 2002 and an ML for both Screnzy and NaNoWriMo since 2010, this is my guide to the world of NaNo.
There are so many people on my social feeds right now talking about how much they miss writing now that NaNoWriMo is over and I know this is crazy but hear me out… what if you just kept writing? Like, what if you didn’t stop just because we flipped the calendar page? Kept putting words down even though it’s not the special month designated for writing. What if you stopped treating the end of NaNoWriMo as a finish line and instead as a door to the rest of your writing life? You can call it WriLi or NaNoLifeMo or something if...read more
There is less than a week before we emerge, blinking, into sparkling December. While a handful of you have already finished your novel and are now winding the month down, adding finishing touches and picking out the sweater you’ll wear in your author photo, the rest of us are scrambling, writing down to the wire, still not sure if we’re going to be able to make it. Believe it or not, you CAN still hit 50,000 words at this point, even if you only started writing the minute you finish reading this. The average writer can write 500...read more
Wrimos, to be on pace, you should be hitting 20,000 words TODAY. If you’re not there yet, do not fret! There’s still plenty of time to hit 50,000 and beyond, you just gotta stick with it! We’re due at the halfway point by Wednesday and then it’s all downhill to the 50k finish line! But it’s probably getting harder, isn’t it? If you’re starting to struggle, you’re not alone. Week Two of NaNoWriMo is infamous because it’s the time when most people give up. Why? Well, there’s a lot of...read more
I know that some of you out there are as obsessive as me when it comes to trying to figure out how far along you are in National Novel Writing Month so I decided to share my personal calculator. It’s simple but powerful. This calculator will work in Open Office, Microsoft Excel or Google Drive, depending on what you use. But it works best in Google Drive since that is what I set it up in (there are also some handy little charts in the Google version the other versions won’t get). It is very simple to use. All you do is type in...read more
Mere hours stand between us and the beginning of National Novel Writing Month. Whether you’re about to attempt your first novel or your fifty first, it’s going to be a wild ride of fun and productivity. As soon as the clock ticks over to November 1st, it’s time to start writing like the Flash on 20 Red Bulls. There are a lot of ways to write, from the slow tweaking of the difficult work email to the herky jerky stop and go of writing that research heavy non-fiction piece. But there’s nothing that thrills me like a...read more
You can always tell when I’m catching up on my inbox when I do a lot of mailbag posts in a row. Relatedly, here’s another one: We met last year during NaNoWriMo (October 2016) in preparation for our arduous month ahead. Thanks for all the great info. I wrote 50K words that month and almost completed my suspense novel. I have perhaps 20 pages to write for the action sequence/chapter needed to resolve the story, but I find myself w/o motivation to complete it. I have several people willing to review it once finished, including a...read more
Despite the fact that life with a new baby is chaos and we’ve got the multipliers of a preschooler and having just moved to monkey wrench the whole dealie, I feel like I’m doing much better than I did after my first daughter was born. Not just from a mental health and personal juggling standpoint, which is leagues better than it was last time mostly because of this, but also with work. Even though I have much less time now than I did when my first daughter was born, it really feels like I’m getting a lot more writing and...read more
Maybe you’ve heard of Camp NaNoWriMo (the smaller, spunky sister event to the big November writing extravaganza) and were underwhelmed by the idea. Or maybe you’ve been meaning to try it out for years but something always seems to come up. Either way, with a host of really cool new features letting you customize your Camp NaNoWriMo experience like never before, now is absolutely the time to give the challenge a second (or first) try! What is Camp NaNoWriMo? A sister event to the big National Novel Writing Month held every...read more
Regular readers know I do a monthly debrief of how my writing is going and have found it incredibly helpful in auditing my writing work and keeping me on track. I also make a silly little graphic for each month to serve as a title image for easy sharing on social media and beyond. This year, I made all of my monthly graphics using the free site PhotoFunia. While you’re welcome to head over there and customize your own, I’m also including the full set that I made here to save you time. You’re welcome to use them on your own...read more
Manage multiple writing projects & keep your word count on track with this writers yearly goal system
By popular request, I’m reposting this updated for 2017. It’s exactly the same as last year, only the dates are updated in the spreadsheet (I didn’t update the screenshots, so sue me). I do have a slightly different system I’m personally using this year that I’ll share when I get a chance but the basic format is the same so go ahead and start with this and you’ll be able to move your data over easily to the new sheet if you want to. I’m aware that there is no February 29, 2017 but I leave the leap day...read more