NaNoWriMo Logo

Website fact: "In 2008, we had over 120,000 participants. More than 20,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists."

National Novel Writing Month’s goals are pretty simple.  Quoting their about page:

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

I’m not actually participating or anything like that but I do enjoy writing (which can probably be guessed from the fact I keep a blog), and like most people with a PC and word processing software I have tried my hand at a novel, contributing to it off an on for at least six years, perhaps longer.  Sometimes months (or even a year or more) can pass without me touching it, then I’ll get back into it for a while before interest fades again or I get distracted by another project or a game or something.  Leaving it for so long has the added downside that by the time I get back into it I’ve had new ideas, often requiring major changes, to the point that I’m re-writing huge chunks over and over again.

With it being NaNoWriMo time again I’ve decided to really jump into my story, ideally trying to finish it in November, but with a goal of writing at least 50,000 words (the same as the NaNoWriMo challenge) in that time.  I figured I’d make a note of it on the blog because that makes it ‘official’ in some way, so if I give up or fail I either have to acknowledge that here or delete all the evidence (itself an acknowledgement of failure).

Before I started I was at 79,681 words.  To write 50,000 words in the thirty days of November requires an average of 1,666 words per day.  Here’s how it’s been going so far:

  • November 1st –  1,310 words (1,310 per day) – 80,991 total.
  • November 2nd – 2,159 words (1,734 per day) – 83,150 total.
  • November 3rd – 749 words (1,406 per day) – 83,899 total.
  • November 4th – 1,494 words (1,428 per day) – 85,393 total.
  • November 5th – 1,772 words (1,497 per day) – 87,165 total.

So as you can see I’ve only topped the needed average words per day twice, with the very low amount on the 3rd really bringing down the overall average, which isn’t really a good start.  I haven’t written for five days in a row though for years, so it’s already getting me writing more than usual, which is the main goal.

I’m going to stick up a dedicated page for the ongoing updates rather than make daily blog entries, and I’ll link to that here once it’s up (but it should be visible on every page by that point), and we’ll see how long it lasts.

  1. November 7, 2009 at 01:59

    The page is now up at and should be visible at the top of the screen anyway.

  1. November 17, 2009 at 04:05
  2. April 28, 2010 at 20:58
  3. January 28, 2012 at 19:17

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