In November of 2013, I participated in NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. Participants pledge to write 50,000 words in one month. It’s an awesome challenge and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I was so proud of myself for completing the word count goal. (Read about my experience here.)
Only problem was, November was over and I had reached 50,000 words, but my story wasn’t finished. I had a beginning and a whole lot of middle, but no ending! Without the accountability of NaNoWriMo, I didn’t have the motivation to continue writing. And to be honest, I wasn’t too sure about how my novel was supposed to end, anyhow. I would add little bits and pieces here and there, but the conclusion always seemed out of reach.
Recently, I decided that I was going to do it. I was going to finish my novel. So guess what? I did! I typed out the ending on my iPad mini (one finger typing, no less!) all while nursing my baby. For some reason, it all came together and three pages later, I had an ending. Final word count: 61,113 words. It feels really good to have given my characters and plot a resolution. Is this book going to make me rich?! Of course not (much to my husband’s dismay!), but I completed a goal, and that’s gotta count for something, right?
Now, if only I could manage to get it edited and printed…
With a new baby set to arrive any day now, I will obviously not be participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Last year was my first experience with National Novel Writing Month, and I absolutely enjoyed the experience. It was so cool to be a part of a writing community where everyone was excited about writing and supportive of one another. It was also cool to accomplish my goal of writing 50,000 words in a single month.
While I won’t be participating, I do want to offer up some helpful links to those of you who will be participating this year.
- NaNoWriMo homepage: If you haven’t signed up yet, or if you’re not sure what NaNoWriMo is all about, make sure you start here.
- Need a spark to get your imagination going? Try the Writer Igniter at the DIY MFA website. It randomly selects a character, situation, prop, and setting for you to work with.
- Want to publish your masterpiece once it’s finished? I’ve had great experiences with Blurb. I’ve created scrapbooks, a wedding album, and a full text novel with the website’s free, downloadable software. It looks like Blurb is amping up for NaNoWriMo too. They’ve recently added new templates for novels.
Best wishes to all of you future novelists out there! You can do it!
This year I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the first time. A student told me about NaNoWriMo last year, but I just didn’t have the time or energy to participate. This year is a different story though, and I’m excited to take on the challenge of writing 50,000 words in one month. Excited…nervous…anxious…panicky…and it’s only the first day! I can already tell this experience will be an emotional roller coaster!
As October 31 rolled into November 1, I earnestly began typing the first chapter of my story. An hour and ten minutes and 1,087 words later, I called it a night. During the late afternoon of November 1, I had time again to write and was able to sneak past the first day’s word count.
I feel like I accomplished something special today, but I’m worried that I won’t be able to keep up the same pace throughout the month. What if I get writer’s block? What if my plot seems to go nowhere? What if I don’t have time to write every day? The only thing I can do is keep moving forward and try my best.
Good luck to everyone else who is participating in NaNoWriMo. I’m thrilled to be a part of the ride!