Happy NaNoWriMo

Happy NaNoWriMo

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year?

For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, a challenge, started in 1999, to write a 50,000-word first draft of a novel in 30 days, officially in November, though anyone can do it any month they choose. Millions of writers and aspiring writers around the world are currently writing their brains out.

If you’re doing NaNo, how’s it going?

I am not doing NaNo. I’ve done it twice, the last time in 2015. (I know that for sure, because that year I treated myself to an official NaNo t-shirt that had the year printed on it.) It’s an excellent exercise, but if you cook on Thanksgiving, you’re probably going to miss a day or two of writing, and that can be stressful. My first year I wrote less than 30,000 words; the second year I wrote 43,866. Neither of those books is finished yet.

The reason I’m not doing NaNo this year is that my husband is in a season where he needs my help a lot. I have very limited uninterrupted time, definitely unable to get into the “zone” necessary to write 1667 words a day.

elements of fiction
Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

However, I remain a NaNo enthusiast, and if and when my circumstances improve, I will definitely participate again.

Many writers start preparing for NaNo months in advance: fleshing out ideas, conducting research, outlining, assembling supplies, taking care of other obligations to limit distractions during their month-long writing marathon.

A substantial community of support has grown up around NaNo, both online and in person at local chapters. There’s even Camp NaNoWriMo, challenges to work on more writing projects in April and July. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel—you can get tips from NaNo pros about how to meet your goals. Tip number one is to turn off your internal editor. The goal is to put maximum words on the page, quantity over quality–you can make them pretty after NaNo’s over.

Now it’s your turn. Are you doing NaNo this year? How’s it going? Have you participated in the past? Do you not need to because you routinely write 2000+ words a day? Share in the comments below.

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

4 responses »

  1. Nano is going well for me this year. I am using Nancy Stohlman’s Flash Nano prompts and writing Flash pieces every day. I have done NANO several years in a row and had flirted with the idea of a romance novel but the spark wasn’t there when November 1st hit. It is still on the backburner for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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