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How cool is that NaNoWriMo logo? And does this mean I ought to write while wearing a Viking helmet?

Valued readers, are any of you planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year?

For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, a challenge whereby thousands of people across the world try to write a 50,000 word story, or at least the first 50,000 words of a story, in November. It’s a motivational exercise and an opportunity to discuss what you’re up to with other writers, and it’s gone way beyond its ‘National’ American origins.

I had a go at NaNoWriMo three years ago. I managed the wordcount, though I did it without joining in the online or local discussions, which in retrospect was a wasted opportunity. The following two years I was in no state to put that pressure on myself, but this year I’ve decided that I’m up for it, spurred on by Russell Phillips who is also joining in for the first time, and who has an interesting guest post coming up here next week.

NaNoWriMo isn’t really about hitting that 50,000 word target. Plenty of people get a lot out of it without even coming close. It’s about finding the focus and the determination to take the most important step in writing, putting lots of words down on the page. It’s about helping each other get motivate, and that’s a great objective.

November’s coming up fast, so I figure that I’ve got two weeks to plan my novel beforehand. I’m very much a planning sort of writer, and having that plan ready to go will make it easier for me to churn out the daily word count.

So, are any of the rest of you planning to do NaNoWriMo this year? What are you planning to write? Have you done it in the past, and do you have any advice based on that experience? And if you’ve never even considered it before, why not give it a go? We can work together to stay motivated and get those words written.

To the writing cave! I have chapters to plan.

14 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo?”

  1. I’d love to … but when I’m struggling to write academic stuff for my actual job, and have a spouse who likes to spend time with me (read: watch Fringe or Scrubs with me) after the kids are in bed, it becomes almost impossible. I really want to. One year I’m going to take research leave and then book November as annual leave (because I can only be on holiday during term time if I have no teaching!) and then I shall finally beat my procrastination habit, and write stuff rather than getting slowly back into the zone of my characters and then run out of time to put anything on paper, which is what usually happens when I have a free evening!

    I really should have done it when I was living on my own and had oodles of time to spare (only I had no idea how much free time I really had back then!)

    1. Given the family and high-flying academic career we’ll let you off this once. Or you could get James onboard too, and then you could write together instead of watching Fringe.

      Though you should also watch Fringe, it’s a great show.

      1. Fringe is a mixture of nicely entertaining, and very very annoying (ridiculous fictitious neuroscience, pseudo-paleontology, and even I get irked by some of the abuses of physics). But we’re nearly at the end of Season 3 and I am looking forward to seeing what happens as things heat up.

        James has probably never written a line of fiction since he was at primary school, although he’s pretty good at making up stories verbally. I might challenge him to write something for Thea for Christmas actually … hm good idea, thanks!

  2. I will be doing it this year – for the first time, too. I’ve been planning my story for about 2 weeks, since I am also very much an outliner. Can’t wait to get started.

  3. I’ve done it the last two years. Year 1 became my (recently published) first novel. Year 2 is the beginning of a prequel. I’m not in a spot in my writing where I could write 50k words, but I may participate anyways as I find the self-imposed discipline and community-fueled motivation helpful.

  4. Enjoy, Andrew! Another year I hope to join in and finally write a novel. It’s just not in the cards for me to take that kind of time right now. It sounds like it will be a blast. Looking forward to hearing how it goes for you. 🙂

  5. I’m not doing it this year but I managed back in 2012. Right now I seem to be working too many hours and I am trying to spend the equivalent time while Sari writes ( she does it every year ) to write this game I’ve been working on for almost the entire of recorded history.

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