Yep, it’s that time of year again.  NaNoMo or the National Novel Month. Or as I call it…Nanu-Nanu.  That’s because the goal of this exercise is to complete a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  And I’ve always thought, the only way you can do it is if you write like Robin Williams thinks…1,000 miles a minute.

This is a national event with groups all over the country.  There are write-ins where the contestants meet at some local place like B&N’s coffee bar or Denny’s to support each other by writing together.  There are challenges, competitions between individuals and cities, and prizes.  But the biggest prize is for the author to learn (and practice) writing without that infernal internal editor.

I did my first one last year and failed miserably.  The problem is I went into the month with a story idea and no synopsis.  This is a weird admission for a writer who NEVER used to use a synopsis.  But the end of the 10th day, I was hopelessly blogged down.  Oh, I tried to salvage the story, but every time I fixed one thing, something else broke down.  Finally, I gave up, but vowed that the next year, I’d be ready.

But the plans of mice and men, er, women oft go astray.  I’d planned to spend October finishing my synopsis for the story I was going to do last year.  But instead, I made finalist in the WHERE THE MAGIC BEGINS light paranormal category.  Not bragging.  Not whining either, but what that means is that the first chapter on my WIP is in front of an editor.  Hopefully, she’ll want to see more, but if she wants to see the full manuscript…  I haven’t finished it yet!

So, change of plan.  Instead of officially joining Nanu-Nanu, I’ll use the month of November to finish TEARS OF THE SUN.  Even if the editor doesn’t pick my entry, I still will have a finished manuscript.  One, I might add, I’ve been working on for almost nine years!  So I’d spend October finishing up the stuff I got behind while working on the contest and, on November 1st, be ready leap into writing.

Except that my laptop, which has been wonky for a couple of months, decide to aggravate me one time too many.  I took it to the Geeks to reload the software I screwed up and they gave me the good news that I would have to replace my hard drive.  And, of course, that meant transferring files, rearranging the desktop, all the things you have to do when you basically get a new laptop.

But am I ticked off?  Nope!  Know why?  Because with Nanu-Nanu, you aren’t tied to a schedule.  As long as you end up with a 50,000 word novel by the 30th of November, you can write when you want.  In a way, that gives you more control.  I still have a couple more things I need to do, but after that, watch out!

Jackie will be Nanu-Nanuing with the best!


  1. Jackie,

    Right back atcha! I decided to do NaNoWriMo regardless of the fact that I will be traveling for half of the month. I’m just going to push to get 50,000 words in 15 days instead of 30. Think I can do it? Who knows! I’m going to give it a shot. spw

  2. Came across this in my perusals this am. I did NaNoMo when it first got started and had a lot of fun. Other things for a few years (November is a busy month), then I decided to give NaNoMo another shot this year, to get together a chunk of raw material for a novel whose characters have spent the last year bugging me to write about them. Whoa– what a change in atmosphere! I’ve been writing a long time, both fiction and non-fiction,and this is not an atmosphere I can thrive in. Feel sorry for those new writers all caught up in the pressure and competition. Example of attitude: I used the term “NaNoMo” in a forum, and got trounced because it is NaNoWriMo now, By a moderator. (I pointed out that NaNoMo was the original name, and us old-timers still call it that.)

    I looked the forums over and decided that it made more sense to do my writing in a more sane and relaxed atmosphere. Sooo, bye, NoNoWRIMo. I’m with you guys: I have my group of personal writing buddies who’ll give me strokes when deserved, help me past the blocks, and recognize that writing is about telling a story and developing good writing habits, not accumulating words production line style.

    Thanks for the affirmation.

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