It’s November – NaNoWriMo18

‘Tis the season and all…though I don’t allow that until mid-December in my house. Usually, November for me means NaNoWriMo. Thirty days, nine of them with my children home from school – though not this year, 1667 words each day for an end result of a novel finished in a month. Or at least, for those of us who write longer novels, 50,000 words complete.

Here’s why I love NaNoWriMo:

It fits months of effort into one small period where accountability matters most and editing matters least. For those of us who like to write on an annual schedule, we write in the fall, finish in the winter, and edit in the spring for a summer or fall release.

It’s perfect.

Here’s why I’m not doing NaNoWriMo18:

I’m a little sad. It’s my second year deciding not to do it.

I have to say that again, and as I type, I’m going to say it out loud because that makes it real.

       I’m a little sad. It’s my second year deciding not to do it.

Sad or not, I have to know where to best spend my time.

I have three novels I’ve written in various November months which are not released. These past two years have been hell. Absolute hell. But, as I wiggle my way back one slip and fall and twist and turn at a time, I know it’s important to get these novels back on the market.

They are not just in editing…they are complete rewrites. My readers may remember when I said I was going to copyedit 34 Seconds one more time before releasing it. I did. But if I had the time and the will to do it, I would have rewritten the whole thing. And I probably would have deleted about 20,000 words. Nikki would have been stronger. There would be less of Chris and their failing marriage and more of her personal struggle back and forth to find her place within her own world. And as much as I may have hated it, the last 36 hours with Will may have been edited down. But that would have been hard for me to do, so a rewrite may have focused more on the first half and less on the second.

But the three NaNoWriMo novels I have, are in a rewriting process. This means a lot of things for those few who’ve read Just Jules and it means everything to me for Finding Her and What May Come (which is still a working title).

So this year, and maybe even next, I am skipping NaNoWriMo. I’ve even said out loud I may have outgrown NaNoWriMo. It’s a community like no other. It’s an honor to have a halo over my photo. It’s amazing to know so many others are doing the same thing at the same time. And the cheerleaders are filled with pep.

But, more than anything, it’s fun. It’s a challenge at times and not at challenging other times. For this year, at least, I am not doing it.

So, here’s to you. All of you who are setting daily goals and sticking to them. Be sure to set your support and tell your friends and family what you need to get through this month.

If this is your first time doing NaNoWriMo, remember to leave yourself some room, give yourself some love, and be realistic. Here are some great things to remember:

  • Send your inner editor on vacation until December 15th. I say that because, by the time December 1st comes around, you’ll want a break. Take it! Walk away and come back to your work before you forget where you left off.
  • Take notes within your manuscript. Don’t make changes, make notes. I can’t tell you how many times I renamed a character in the middle of NaNoWriMo but didn’t remember until I went to edit in the spring. Who’s Riley? Landon? Who is that? All the same guy…I just changed his name.
  • Drink – a lot! Water, juice, wine, vodka, bourbon, and are coffee are all acceptable. Just be sure to add more water than vodka or bourbon throughout your day.
  • Eat – not as much. Halloween candy is readily available for the at least the first half of November. That last week might bring you Thanksgiving leftovers.
  • Write. Just write.
  • Daily count. You’ll need 1667 words each day. This means weekends too. And days when bills are due. And work days. And days you don’t feel well. Days you need to vote, days people are playing sports, and any day that ends in a Y or the word day.
  • Accountability – NaNoWriMo has a fabulous site where you can enter your daily word counts and see how you are doing compared to your goals as well as within your local NaNo community.
  • Community – join your local NaNoWriMo group. They have done this before. They are amazing support, and they will get you out of your house and into a bar or coffee shop or library for reserved writing time. Go do it!
  • Leave your space – write somewhere you don’t usually write. Try not to write this month in front of the TV while watching the latest with your family. You’ll be sad but probably not surprised when you fail.
  • Keep going – if you know you are falling behind or if you have the big thing coming and know you won’t be writing one or two days, get ahead. This blog is almost 1,000 words, so 1667 is easy peasy!
  • Celebrate – throughout the month and at the end. Celebrate! A lot!
  • Do it again. If you fail or succeed, keep doing it. It’s fun, it’s supportive, and it’s something you can schedule every calendar year.


Enjoy your month.


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