NaNoWriMo Preparation


A view of my desk, with a view outside, preparing to write for the next two hours with my laptop and tea in hand.

NaNoWriMo is a bit of a mouthful and kind of looks like a crazy chemistry molecule. No fret. It’s nothing complicated. Other than a fun acronym, NaNoWriMo is the celebration of novel writing. More formally, NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writing Month hosted in November. All levels of writers band together for an entire month of writing their own novel.

Writing a novel in a single month is exhausting and just about as impossible as it sounds. But take courage, as some writers experience success during this month of writing. Others, like me, use November as a leap into writing a novel. I typically take about 2 to 3 months to draft a novel--that's the first draft, yeah. Then for the next month or two, I spend writing the next 15 drafts. I exaggerate. Or do I?

A novel, according to NaNoWriMo, should be at a minimum of 52,000 words. That's about the size of Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. Your novel is custom to your work, your audience, and your genre, but there are some less than rigid guidelines for word count.

Typical word counts for each genre as collected by the Foster Grant Blog:

You can participate in NaNoWriMo passively while writing on your own terms and tallying your own word count. Or you can connect with others in several online writing communities, and share your work with others. There is no right or wrong way to write. Find what is right for you. To find a band of writers to connect with over this month, visit NaNoWriMo’s dashboard (once you’ve signed up), and they'll direct you along. I also found instagram is a great way to find other writers needing a boost of encouragement and community during their month of writing. That’s where I’ll be. Come say hi :)

My Plan of Action

Before NaNoWriMo

Books to read: before and during November

Carve out time to write.

Keep in mind, I’m only aiming for a first draft. I’ll be leaving additional drafts and editing for a different season or month.

This can be a grueling task, but remember it’s meant to stretch you, grow your writing and show you what you’re capable of.

P.S. You are capable.


Happy writing, friend!

May your words pour like a south Texas summer rain storm,