A fellow blogger/writer recently introduced me to NaNoWriMo and I’ve spent the last few days deciding whether I’m going to take the plunge. What is NaNoWriMo? NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. But it’s so much more than a time to celebrate the creation of literary prose– It’s a challenge!

Write your own novel (50,000 words or more) in just one month. Starting at 12:01 am on November 1st and ending at midnight on November 30th aspiring authors all over the country will begin penning what might turn out to be the next great American novel. Or not.
Either way, it’s a big commitment and a daunting endeavor. Call me a skeptic, maybe even a coward, but the following (which was borrowed from the NaNoWriMo site), almost scared me off. Not because I think the logic is flawed, but because it’s counter to everything I know, and frankly I just don’t know if I have it in me to let go of my perfectionist nature and just write, write, write without a backward glance.
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. This approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.
I’d like to take a cavalier attitude and say, “How hard can it be?” But I know how hard it’s going to be, not just to write the words, but to find the time. Still, it sounds like fun. So, call me a Wrimo, I think I’m going to go for it.  Want to learn more? Check out
Any other Wrimos out there?

4 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo

  1. I'll be participating this year! I'm just like you, a perfectionist. In the first book I've actually started writing, I have done more editing than writing. The idea of just writing with no editing is kinda scary. But I still feel it's going to be good for me. Break me out of my cycle. Maybe I can find some sort of balance with my writing instead of spending countless hours over the first 10,000 words before I move on.

    It makes me feel good to see how many blogger friends are joining in. ^_^

  2. I've participated for the past 8 years. I am hoping to do it again this year, but with the way life is going I may have to skip out this year. Fingers crossed that I can manage to do it though!

    I'm a perfectionist too, but you definitely have to forgo that desire to edit and just write. (I usually am unable to do this..hehe)

  3. @ Jessica: Good luck! I am definitely sympathetic as I too spend more time editing than writing! Who'd have thought?

    @ Amanda: That is awesome! 8 years… Sounds like you deserve a break! Lol. I am hoping just to survive one attempt… and reach the goal.

  4. I agree with you Jen – writing without editing! But in some ways it's good to get your ideas out without worrying too much about wether it's good. Once you've got the bones you can go back and refine anytime you like. That's what I'm doing with my blog – this novel was written over a period of years and then I started editing but didn't get very far before I had Cass. This is a way to edit in real time, in front of a real audience. It's scary but exciting. I'm loving every minute of it. So, good luck with this challenge! May it turn out to be your best novel yet!

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