NaNoWriMo! Wait, what’s that?

Ok everyone, I hope you’re sitting down…because I have big news.


NaNoWriMo image






The significance of this may be lost on those of you unfamiliar with this annual phenomenon. Every year coffee-fueled writers, ranging from ambitious and inspired and intrepid and uncertain and  unfocused and unsure, take on this challenge. Right now, there are over 270,000 writers participating!

What’s the point? The point is writing every day to end up with 50,000 words by November 30.

What does it take to be a writer? Just writing. Not being published necessarily. And what does it take to participate in NaNoWriMo? Just signing up for free!


coffee cup

mm mm good


I’m especially excited, because NaNoWriMo provides tons of supportive advice from some of the great writers today in the form of video pep talks and informal emails. Local chapters of NaNoWriMo participants get together for “write-ins” at nearby coffee shops or bookstores or libraries. It’s a fun way to meet fellow writers and get that social push to GET THE NOVEL DONE.

At any rate, I’m powering through and have connected with some really wonderful folks who are also taking the writing plunge. Look for us in coffee shops and bookstores near you, vacillating between bleary-eyed, exhausted, mechanical typing and buzzing, exuberant, maniacal typing! Some of the writers I met at the recent ACFW conference in Indianapolis are participating, and some friends from work are, too!




Stats snapshot

Writing 1,600-ish words per day for November gives you a manuscript in the ballpark of 50,000, which isn’t technically a novel. They say as much on the website. BUT it’s a valiant step forward towards completing a full-size novel!

For the non-mathematically-inclined such as I, there is a handy words-tracker on the website. The Stats tells you things such as your average words written per day, how many words you have left until 50,000, how many words per day you need to write to finish on-time, etc. I’m sharing my own stat snapshot from yesterday here below. It actually really makes me wonder if I could use other tools like this post-NaNoWriMo. I’d tried other apps such as StoryTracker, but this interface works really well!





What am I writing about? Well, this is one of the first times I’m not mapping out the entire plot of a novel. We’re just taking our mental machetes and hacking through the jungle of ideas, carving out a path to a cohesive story.


I just made that sound really hard, but it’s actually freewheeling and fun! Maybe a better metaphor is getting into a bright-red Mustang without a map and a full tank of gas, then just driving across the country to see what you find. It’s a bit scary, but inspiring and exciting!

I CAN tell you that it’s a futuristic first-person tale of how absurd wedding planning could be…a sci-fi satire romance, if you will. Here’s the description:

Starry sky

A cover I threw together – Yes, that was originally Mario and Princess Peach. 🙂

Weddings in the year 3000 are more extravagant and absurd than ever. Video gamer Vin is marrying Penelope, the woman of his dreams and a talented intergalactic events planner, but their Earth wedding planning is taking over his life and sanity. Will he grin and bear the tide of decisions as Penelope wants, or will he lose his cool and lose her, too? Will they discover real love in a world that is built on appearance?



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