Thursday, October 11, 2012

Only 21 More Days.....

At the end of NaNoWriMo, just before 9pm on November 30, 2011, I finally crossed the finish line, sweating profusely, but proud to have written over 50,000 words in one month.

And I was already looking forward to the next year.

Gulp.  In exactly three weeks, NaNoWriMo 2012 begins.  How did that happen?

If you don't know what NaNo is, be sure to check out the link.  It's an exciting social writing competition (where you compete against yourself, and the clock, with friendly encouragement from fellow writers).  30 days.  50000 words.  A promising start at a rough draft.

If you've participated in NaNo before, what did you find to be the most helpful strategies and tools?  What held you up the most?

I have a three year history with the competition.  In 2009, I managed to write about 9000 words before giving up.  The next year, more determined, I squeaked (barely) past the 14000 word mark.  Last year, I knew I needed to finish.  I wasn't crossing the time line in December without that little web badge that said 'winner'.  And I did it!

What worked for me: accountability = friends.  Other people knowing what I wanted to accomplish and cheering me across the finish line.

Where did I stumble?  In allowing myself  'days off', believing I could 'catch up' another day.  Those were brutal evenings.  The key for me, I believe, is consistency.  Stay above that bright red line on the NaNo graph - not try to chase it down all month.

What about you?  Are you stoked?  Do you need NaNo friends?  Leave a note, and we can cheer each other on to our own personal finish lines.

My first year, I only wrote 9000 words, but that was 9000 words I wouldn't have written if I hadn't decided at least to try.

So bring on November!


  1. I failed last year because I hadn't prepared properly. I was writing a gothic horror novel set in an antiques shop, but kept coming unstuck because I didn't know anything about antiques, and didn't really know where the story was headed. There's a lot of prep you can do before 1st November to make it as easy as possible!

    I'm not doing it this year because I'm in the last stages of editing and preparing my first self-published book. But next year I aim to prepare properly, and win!

  2. WOW! How did it come up again so quickly???? Not sure if I’ll participate...these days I feel like I barely have enough time to do the things I NEED to do, much less spend time writing. *sigh* But...there is this one story idea that’s been nagging at me...time to think and pray about it! Maybe I’ll jump on the bandwagon!

  3. Hi there! long time reader, first time commenter. Love your blog! I'm trying NaNo for the first time this year, and i'm excited, but a little worried. I don't want to become one big ball of stress, especially with it being so close to Christmas (we're big on Christmas around here). How do you balance NaNo with the busy life of a mom? I foresee a lot of late nights... haha!

  4. Mandi, I think you are the push I need. I have always wanted to do NaNo but have never made the jump.



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