Let's talk about NaNo

A week from today is the first day of November. And you know what November means in the writing community, right? NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month.

NaNo 2012The goal of NaNo is simple: Write 50,000 words in the month of November. I participated for the first time two years ago and had a blast. One of my favorite things about the NaNo experience is the community. Being surrounded by the excitement and enthusiasm of thousands of other writers, all racing to log a few thousand words a day, is inspiring beyond measure.

I’m under deadline right now, revising TAKEN2, but I’m still going to attempt NaNo. I have a new story idea that I can’t stop thinking about it, but my progress on it has been slow and wavering, mostly due to all my other obligations and deadlines. Even if I fail to meet the 50k goal, I still want to tap into the energy of NaNo and chip away at this New Shiny idea.

Are you doing NaNo this year? If so, you can find me here. Let’s cheer each other on. Furthermore, I’m helping a few other YA authors spread the joy of NaNo with encouragement, inspiration, and writing advice.

Beth Revis started a wonderful “Ask a Published YA Author” thread in the NaNo forums. If you have burning questions, drop us a line there and one of us will answer when we have a spare moment.

I’m also contributing to a NaNo pinterest board with Susan Dennard, Sarah J Maas, Jessica Spotswood, and Jessica Khoury. It’s full of inspiring visuals. If you hit a rough patch in your writing sprints, this board may be the perfect remedy! (Susan and Sarah are also giving away mini-crits for NaNo participants. Details here!)

There’s also the possibility that I could host some writing sprint parties on twitter. Say, once or twice a week, at a set time. We’ll write for an hour and then check in with each other, share word counts, successes, roadblocks, etc. (Would anyone be interested in joining these? Let me know in the comments.)

I have to dive back into revisions, but I want to leave any new NaNo-ers with one piece of advice: Not “winning” NaNo does not mean you’ve failed. Yes, the goal is to pound out 50k, but the bigger goal is to get your butt in the chair and commit to a piece of writing for a month long time frame. If you do that, if you get down some words that are the foundation of something amazing, that’s all that really matters. (Because let’s face it: no one can really write a complete novel in 30 days. Plus, 50k is on the short side. Oh, and you’ll still need to revise it a million times before it becomes something polished.)

So join me! Get some words down. Let’s start chipping away at our next great story ideas together.

On a side note, there are two TAKEN giveaways still underway:

ยป If you want free TAKEN swag, I’m giving bookmarks, bookplates, and stickers to the first 100 readers who request them. Snag yours here.

ยป There’s also a chance to win an ARC of TAKEN over on Jessica’s “Confessions of a Bookaholic” blog. (This is the only ARC I’m giving away until the new year, so don’t miss out). Enter to win now.

21 Responses
  1. Yay, I’m excited about participating this year! I’m using NaNo as motivation to finally get started on an idea I’ve had for a while. Thanks for offering encouragement and inspirational help! I’m sure I speak for many when I say that we appreciate all of you published YA authors helping us out. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve added you as a buddy! My profile: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/savra

  2. I’m doing NaNo, too! I’m only doing half NaNo to finish the WIP that I started last year, but I’m hoping that after I finish that, I’ll still have some November left to write a couple shorts. So we’ll see. And I’d love to partake in writing sprints. I buddied you! I’m jessicahill. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Sarah G.

    I love NaNo! I will be writing away furiously in November, but for my exam. Unlikely I’ll produce 50,000 words of academic prose (hey, that would be like half a dissertation!), so I’ll just have to cheer you and other writer-friends on.

  4. I accidentally did NaNo two years ago. Which is to say I wrote a book in November but didn’t know about NaNo. I’ve been wanting to do it again, and this year I just happened to send my MS off to readers so I’ll have time. I’m on the fence, though, since neither of the two stories I want to write are more than a one-sentence idea.

    1. Haha–accidentally. That’s hilarious. A thought re: your two story ideas. Chip away at them both? See which one flows better, then keep your focus on that one? Either way, would love you to participate with the rest of us ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I’m doing it for the first time this year. I’m less concerned about “winning” and more excited about getting a lot of words down, writing every day and being part of the community! I’d love to do the writing sprints, if it fits with my schedule. I’ve also added you as a buddy on the NaNo site. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. “I’m less concerned about “winning” and more excited about getting a lot of words down” <— THIS. This is my NaNo mantra in general. Write every day, with the help of the community, and get the words on paper. If you do that, it's always a success in my book! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Jennie

    I was feeling apathetic towards NaNo until yesterday when suddenly one photo on Pinterest suddenly sparked a whole new plot. PERFECTION!
    Good luck to you and all of us crazy wrimos!

  7. Krispy

    I was iffy about doing NaNo this year, but now that SO MANY tweeps are doing it, I think I must! Last year was the first time I did twitter word sprints and it actually helped quite a bit! So looking forward to your twitter activities. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I just added you as a buddy. I’m kangaru!

  8. Kimberley Jones

    I’m doing NaNo for the first time this year and I think it’s great that you encourage people so much, thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m totally interested in writing parties on twitter ๐Ÿ™‚ Good Luck with your goal

    1. You are not the first to say you’d enjoy twitter writing parties! I’ll be sure to host a few! (And best of luck to you as you tackle NaNo for the first time. Should be a blast!)

Leave a Reply

Find Erin online:



New + Forthcoming