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A Notch in My NaNo Belt

Last month I shared that I was participating in National Novel Writing Month for the first time, and promised I’d tell my experience this go round.

[For any unfamiliar, the annual writer’s “contest” — which runs through the thirty days of November — is a push to write 50,000 words toward a new novel. Though also, many will set their own goals and continue with a project already in progress.]

I was anxious and unsure and thrilled and soaring with hope, because I knew I was a slow, meticulous writer, and I knew that I had been struggling to do any fiction writing of significance for months (alright, years), and I also knew I needed force in the right direction.


Choosing to participate in NaNo was a good decision, and I didn’t let myself down. I wrote just over 35,000 words of my new novel’s rough draft.

I never knew I could write so fast, and I certainly never considered that I could write so messy. But I did!

When I realized I wouldn’t make the 50k goal, I decided I was okay with that. More than satisfied. Because by then, given how my story line had evolved and where my characters sat, I knew I needed to step back and assess what I’d accumulated. So then I gave myself permission to do so. If I’d forced words just to count 15,000 more, it would only have dragged me down, confused my process, and placed me where I couldn’t have been sure I’d write myself out of.

I took a break for Thanksgiving, and have since gotten back to it. Starting with page one, I’ve begun fleshing things out. Building scenes and characters, adding narration. It’s a big task, but the work I did through the effort of NaNo gave me an excellent skeleton to work with. And I’m so pleased about that.

My goal is get through rewrites and additions and revisions (however many rounds it takes to satisfy me), compose a full-length novel, and query the book to agents before the end of 2015. We’ll see how it goes.

Will I do NaNo again? I’m not at all opposed to it. And I may need another push for a new project come this time next year. ūüôā

Do Not Disturb (Writer Writing)


This is me. Except that, you know, it’s not. (

I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month!

This is my first year doing the challenge. I’m excited and hopeful and motivated and kicking a$$, and I have a good team of supporters cheering me on.

Anyway, since right now so many words¬†need to go toward my WIP, I’m leaving only these few here today. I will tell you all about my experience next month.

Wish me luck!

Are you participating? I’m jdwrites if you’d like to connect over at NaNo.

Get Ready for NaNoWriMo!

keyboard and coffeeNovember is National Novel Writing Month, better known as¬† NaNoWriMo. The goal is to quick draft 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days, which comes out to about 1,667¬†words a¬†day.¬†That’s roughly two hours of writing per day, if you don’t stop and edit your work. NaNoWriMo is about unleashing your muse, hammering out¬†a¬†manuscript, and giving your internal editor a month’s vacation.

To maximize writing time during NaNoWriMo, it’s best to do some prep work.¬†The organization’s website has got some great tools for planning your novel.¬†Other sites offer tips for establishing good writing habits and¬†increasing your¬†productivity.

This year, since I’m currently writing novellas, my goal is to complete two 25,000-word novellas in November. Will I make it? Time will tell.

Whether you’re already writing fiction or have always wanted to,¬†NaNoWriMo is a good way to set a challenging but achievable goal, and create¬†a first draft that you can mold from raw clay into a masterpiece. Why not give it a try?

What are your plans for NaNoWriMo?

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