NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) typically occurs to me in mid-November, when Twitter explodes with NaNo hashtags and writers posting about their progress. This year, I was reminded in advance thanks to Rachel’s latest post. But, this morning, as I’m sifting through the site and the blog posts on prep work and tips, I realize that I probably would’ve needed to participate in the bootcamp back in July in order to properly prepare. Or, at the very least, I should’ve been outlining a novel over the last two months.

Part of me just wants to go for it. Another part of me, the one sitting here writing while my toddler repeatedly interrupts my train of thought, thinks get real. And yet another part of me has to acknowledge that I have so many writing goals, both short and long-term, that don’t align with NaNo, it could result in just one more distraction, another unfinished project to add to the heap. And yet…

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days, which breaks down to 1,667 words per day. I’m thinking about using this word-count goal for the month of November, while remaining focused on essays, short stories, flash fiction, and poetry.

I signed up for NaNo this year as a way to learn more. Has anyone out there participated in years past? I would love to hear about your experiences!

Update (10/17): Oftentimes I ask a question in this space, and the universe answers back. It turns out I joined a NaNoWriMo group two months ago and completely forgot about it. Yesterday a group member posted “Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo,” which outlines strategies for diving into next month’s challenge even if you currently have no idea what you want to write. I’d love to try this strategy because it’s not at all the way I write or approach writing or think about writing. But I think it will have to wait until next year.

(Post 271 of 365)


5 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo”

    1. You knew exactly what I meant, Rachel! The “dung heap of drafts” is what I suspected and also gave me a laugh–thank you!! I get really excited about new ideas and projects, especially ones that involve other writers, that camaraderie and energy. It’s challenging for me to sustain focus. I quickly realized that a word-count goal would be more productive than taking on a novel right now. An even better goal would be finish some drafts in the giant heap and send them out into the world.


  1. Glad it made you laugh! I was sending out those comments while Alex was talking to me about taxes (I am not done with 2015 yet – due today!!! and Petra is home with me today so we’ll see how far I get).

    I too get so drawn into exactly what you describe – new ideas & projects esp with others, the energy/collaboration. I think your aim right now, to stay with the projects you’re already working on, is fantastic. I’m really trying to go for practical goals now rather than dream goals (which are the kind I’ve spent most of my life on, first with music, now writing). Also I have to say that WHATEVER you’re doing is working wonders so I wouldn’t change a thing! Your accomplishments seriously blow me away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for these reassuring and generous words, Rachel! They truly mean so much.

      Yes to practical goals! It’s the practical stuff that eventually adds up to the dream. 🙂

      I hope the taxes went okay!


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