I am a NaNoWriMo virgin. I’ve heard about this phenomenon for a couple of years (it’s been going on since 1999) but I didn’t think it was something I’d ever do. Now it is something I AM going to do. I’ve signed up at the website: I’ve ordered and received my Write Your Novel workbook and USB Bracelet which I plan to wear every day during November so I remember to back up my words every night. AND, I’m planning my novel, which is allowed. If you go to the website, you’ll learn the rules, get lots of tips and hints on how to succeed, and may also get revved up. If you sign up early enough, you’ll begin to meet other WriMos in your own community so you’ll have a local support group. This Saturday there is going to be a meet up of WriMos at the Multnomah County Public Library, and I’m planning to go and take snacks. I know that if I get lonely writing in my own space, I can take my laptop down to Rain or Shine Coffeehouse and find other WriMos working on their WIPs there. (WIP=Work in Progress). To “win” NaNoWriMo, a writer has to write a novel of at least 50,000 words and upload it to the site between Nov 25 and Nov 30 at 11:59pm PST. No writing ahead of time, but it is legal to plan, plot, research, do character studies, background, all the work a person usually does in the process of writing her novel except for the actual writing of words.

Once I received my workbook in the mail, I set aside time to start writing in it. For the past several years, I’ve been doing all my writing on the computer, so this is “old school” for me, and I found myself resisting it. But yesterday, I worked at it for real. I made my lists, wrote by hand, really worked at it. Found myself worrying about other people reading it, which I never worry about with what I write on computer any more. It is true that around my place, people will pick up and read anything, but they don’t pick up my laptop and open my files. So, I’m not answering the questions about real people in my workbook.

How are YOU preparing? Are you a pantser? If so, how in the world do you prepare for NaNoWriMo? I’d be terrified. As it is, I know that I will likely lose 8-10 days to migraine headaches, and I will lose one day and night to a pre-planned trip. So instead of 30 days to write 50,000 words, I am planning to write 50,000 words in 20 days. That way if I have fewer migraines, I can write more words and maybe actually finish the novel.

Did you know that Water for Elephants was a NaNoWriMo novel? Yep. Lots of others too. You can check Wikipedia for a list.

And if you’re looking for some real help, go check out Larry Brooks’s blog (and his books) at

Are you in? or out?


6 thoughts on “PREPARING FOR NaNoWriMo

  1. I’m in for NaNo this year. Last year I didn’t “win” because my hands and eyes ached before the month was over. I do like that it gives us a deadline to aim for. I like the online comradere of it but I’ve not gone to any meet ups.

    • I’m glad you’re in this year Suzanne! Maybe you’ll make it this year. I set my screen to a lower light so it doesn’t hurt my eyes as much, and use a lapdesk instead of sitting at a desk. I use a lapdesk and keep my feet up and back supported. Trying to be as ergonomic for my body as possible, and also remembering to get up, go for walks, etc. I feel like I’m training for a marathon!

  2. This sounds intriguing, but while I have a new novel in mind, I’m in revisions on my first one. Not sure I can do both simultaneously and be successful.

    I wish you the best and maybe I’ll be prepared for it next year!

  3. RG, I’m in the midst of writing my second, so I’m just going to lay it aside for a month and write the new one. It would be nice if I were finished with the first draft of Book Two, but I’m not going to make it before Nov. 1, so I’m focusing on prepping for NaNo instead this week. Join us if you want to! There will be tons of support, and if you aren’t on deadline for those revisions, they will wait for you … 🙂

  4. Nope, not me. I tried it the second year they ever held it, but it was not for me. I think that year you were not supposed to do any plotting ahead of time. Nevertheless, i felt the pressure was not useful. I’m wishing you a ton of luck–you brave nut!

  5. That’s me, a brave nut. There’s a line like that in “Sherlock Holmes’s Smarter Brother” where the smarter brother says “I’m incredibly brave, or incredibly stupid.” hahaha.

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