IWSG November: Do You NaNoWriMo?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

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November 2’s optional question – November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

The awesome co-hosts for the November 2 posting of the IWSG are Diedre Knight, Douglas Thomas Greening, Nick Wilford, and Diane Burton! Many thanks to founder Alex J. Cavanaugh!

You ready?

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!


First, what is it and when did it start?

According to their website:

“National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel during the thirty days of November.”

If you haven’t done it before, it might sound slightly unhinged.

If you have done it before, you know that it is slightly unhinged.

However, the writers who run NaNoWriMo.org provide motivational messages from well-known authors, some cool gadgetry and graphs on their website to track word counts each day and throughout the month, forums to join in online, meetups in person, and a general way to have fun while taking part in the challenge of getting 50,000 words on the page in 30 days. 

If you’ve ever read Stephen King’s book On Writing, you know he would own the challenge easily with his 3000 words a day word count, so it’s not like this challenge actually rocks the world book of records for writing, but it is a challenge. 

Many authors hate it. Many authors love it. Some have been there and done that. Some go back every year. Some prefer to write on weekends, or write at a slower pace overall. Some prefer to keep their own word count guides or hit different marks – 100 words a day, or 500, and not the 1667 or so necessary to make the 50,000 in one month.

But the question wasn’t, what the heck do I know about NaNoWriMo, it was: Have I participated? And why or why not?

So, finally, my answer:


Because it actually brings me joy when I don’t overstress about it.

I know that may sound like a weird answer. Some authors see the challenge as an ultimate stress-monster, and I have felt that way, a few times. Those were the years I didn’t finish. 

Last year, however, I noticed a writing friend called her project “Potluck” and she wrote on her blog about doing more than one project at once, and writing the word count as she saw fit. 

I wanted to reach across the webspace and hug her, or cheer, or at least raise a frosty glass of butterbeer in her direction. 

While some authors hate project-jumping, I hate working on one project for an entire month. I love project-jumping from week to week, or three-day to three-day increments. I love writing every day, as long as it’s not on the same project day in and day out. 

So, while I am in revision with one project and the proof stage with another project, I’m also drafting three different projects, joyfully, happily, contentedly. So, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year as a NaNo Rebel and I’m anticipating a win. 🙂

Unless something crazy in life happens, because sometimes… life has been crazy. So, given a lack of extra-crazy, I’ll be NaNoWriMo-ing this year. 

What about you? Do You NaNoWriMo?

As I mentioned, I do have a few projects coming to a finish this year, two of which are:

25 Impossible Tales of Survivors, Flawed Heroes, and Annoyed Villains (coming out in 2023). If you’re interested in being an ebook ARC reader, please let me know in the comments. It’s also available for pre-order: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BGT65CMF:

Dark Blade: Forged, the Kindle Vella novel, will reach an endpoint by the end of 2022, with an ebook and a paperback coming in late 2023. Book 2 of the Dark Blade series will begin appearing on KV next year.

If you would like to give this a read in the KV format, you can start with the first three episodes for free: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B094HGN6F8

And yes, Rayatana 3 is in the works, but since it’s actually linked to a different series (yep, that plan was in place all along), I had to make sure everything was lining up properly. I’ll share some news about it in early 2023, but not before then.

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