Wednesday, October 12, 2011

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

In the month of November, over 100k people do one crazy task: Write a 50k novel in 30 days. This is called National Novel Writing Month, or, as usually referred to, NaNoWriMo.NaNoWriMo Badge (cropped)

NaNoWriMo started out 13 years ago by a small group of people who wanted to try their hand at novel writing. This formed into the official site where anyone can join in on the insanity of writing 50k words in only 30 days. It quickly grew into a sensation and now has thousands and thousands of participants, not only national but international, every year.

50,000 words in one month. A crazy goal, but doable, and quite fun!

So why is this fun you ask? Let me sum NaNo up for you and you can see for yourself.

NaNo consists of sitting down and staring at your screen for endless upon endless hours, straining your eyes to the point of blindness. Hiding in your writing places for days on end until your family and friends begin to think you have disappeared from the earth, or just gone mad (which every NaNo participant is, so this is not far from the truth). Forgetting that eating is essential to stay alive (I mean, as long as you are feeding your characters then that is all that matters, right?). Wearing your fingers down until they scream for a reprieve or just shrivel up altogether to the point of incapacitation (until next November of course!). Consuming so much coffee (or other such beverage (I don’t like coffee)) that you grow a permanent twitching in your left eye. And then, after all that work and abandoning your entire life for a whole month, you find your novel to be a complete mess of blurred words and random sentences.

Doesn’t that sound fun?!

See, didn’t I tell you? Nothing better than that!

Okay, okay, while my summary of NaNo is very true (*cough*), that is not all NaNo is about.

NaNoWriMo is a fantastic program that helped me with my passion for writing tremendously. It is so much fun knowing you are doing the same crazy task with thousands of other people around the world. It gives you such a feeling of accomplishment to know you made it to the “winner’s circle” and wrote that much in only 30 days. You will find your imagination flowing like never before. The possibilities are really endless.

NaNoWriMo Badge 2011They offer all sorts of things. There is a NaNo store where you can buy really neat NaNo’ing things like NaNoWriMo pens, books, mugs, bags, etc. If you donate to the program there are some nifty donor goodies waiting for you. Throughout the month of November they get authors (often famous ones at that) to send out pep talks to keep you moving forward. There is also a Young Writers Program (YWP) for those who are younger than the NaNo participant required age (13 and up) where they can set their own word count and join in on the fun. For the past 2 or 3 years they have had a place called CreateSpace offering to print your novel in actually book form if you make it to 50k words, which was very nice. And the cool thing is all those who make it to 50k are winners, giving you a deep feeling of pleasure because of it. There is just so much there.

I had known about NaNoWriMo for a few years, but did not actually participate until last year. I cannot even express how much fun I had. After planning out my novel all throughout the month of October (which is a new thing for me to do, I have never actually planned and outlined my stories before), I was eagerly ready to begin writing come November. Being my first NaNo, I went a little…erm…overboard. I quite literally abandoned my life and made it to 50k words in the first 9 days, then finished off the month with exactly 111,500 words. It was a fun way to charge into my first NaNo, but hopefully this year I will not go quite as crazy. I’ll never regret doing it though. NaNo has helped me so much with my writing.

I have always loved to write, but ever since last November my passion for it has never been so strong. First of all, I found that I actually could finish a book within a reasonable amount of time, while before it took me years to ever get around to finishing my stories (most of which are still not finished). Second, I rediscovered how fun writing is. After November I soon finished up my NaNo novel, over the summer I wrote a 100k novel, and now I anxiously await November to start another. Writing is practically all I want to do and talk about these days. (Obviously. I intended for this blog to be about a bunch of different things and now it is just about writing!) And this is all thanks to my wonderful experience with NaNoWriMo.

The website ( has all sorts of information, a large forum, and everything to get you ready to write, write, write!

I very much look forward to a 2nd year of NaNo’ing!


  1. WHOA!! I totally want to do that! I'm not sure if I have time, though...How many pages would 50k words be?

  2. You should! It is sooo much fun!! :D

    It is kind of hard to say, depending on what font size and everything you use. In Microsoft Word using Palatino Linotype on size 11 it is roughly about 100 pages for me.

    They say if you write 1,667 words every day you will make it to 50k, so it does not have to be TOO time consuming if you don't want it to be.

  3. Good for you, girl! I've heard of this and wanted to participate - but - the real world of work and responsibilities takes over. I could never give the project the time it needs and still pay the bills! Some day, maybe. I have my epic novel in outline form tucked away along with a few other shorter manuscripts in various states of completion. I write plays - then produce and direct them. That's how I've been publishing these past few years now. But, I do dream of a hardcover and book signing tour . . .


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