National Novel(la) Writing Month 2012 (a.k.a NaNoWriMo)

Although it is a little last-minute, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, although with a slight twist, as you can probably tell from the post title. Instead of National Novel Writing Month, I am doing National Novella Writing Month. I have been working half-heartedly on a novella that I would really like to get finished by the end of November. Motivation is somewhat lacking, however. One thing that has been great about past NaNoWriMo events is that the motivation behind it really does push me to write. So I thought I would take advantage of that artificial motivation to get a draft of this novella written in the month of November.

Participant-180x180-2.jpegI skipped NaNoWriMo last year, having decided that I was not a novelist. I completed the event successfully in 2009 and 2010. I also participated in 2007, although half-heartedly and I didn’t finish. For me, the key to winning NaNoWriMo is preparing ahead of time, and having a rough idea on what I am going to write on each of the 30 days of the event. If you want more specifics about what I mean, check out my 5 tips for a successful NaNoWriMo.

This means that I’ll be spending the next couple of days following my own advice and preparing for the event. Of course, my plans are slightly different because I am aiming for about half the words of the actual event, 25,000 instead of 50,000. It means instead of targeting 1,667 words each day, I need only aim for half. Still, last time, I was able to average more than 2,000 words each day. If it turns out that I can manage that pace, I’ll have a completed draft before the event is half over, and I may try for a second draft before the end of the month. We’ll see.

My goal is actually to aim for 1,000 words each day. I expect the novella to come in at around 25,000 words, which means I’ll hit my goal on November 25.

Another difference over the last time I participated is that I will likely do my writings in the evening, after the kids are in bed, as opposed to the early morning before everyone wakes up.

I’ll be posting progress updates like I did the last time around, but if anyone wants to follow along as part of the event itself, you can add me as a buddy. If I can manage, I’ll also write a post that describes what my “plan” looks like (in general terms) before the first day of the event.

And yes, I will be using Scrivener on my new iMac to write this novella in November.

And if you are participating in the event, consider making a donation to the Office of Letters and Light that run NaNoWriMo. They support many good causes.

Anyone else out there participating this year? Let me know and I’ll seek you out on the website.


  1. Very interested in Nanowrimo but not sure I feel confident to write so many words in one month – is it actually possible?!

    Feels like a huge commitment, I might let you go first and see what happens!

    I wait in anticipation… in the meantime I’ll read your 5 tips.

    Good luck

  2. Jamie,

    Great suggestions, but you forgot one critical factor: friendly competition! I have just signed up for this year and am delighted to discover that you are participating this year. Shall we meet on the courts Thursday morning? You are in charge of all graphs and statistics. — Pam


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