National Novel Writing Month

ImageThis month is November so not only does it mean Thanksgiving for those who live in the United States and Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes Night) for those of us who live in the United Kingdom, but it is also National Novel Writing Month.

From 1999, when National Novel Writing Month started with 21 people in the San Francisco Bay Area, it has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. I can’t say how many people are participating this year, but according to the current collective word count for 2012 is 613,259,092 and growing and it is only the 5th of the month.

The official website calls it ‘Thirty days and nights of literary abandon’ and they are right. For writers who choose to go onto the website and sign up for the challenge the goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. It seems like a huge tasks, but not when you really look at it. According to the breakdowns on the website, in order to reach this goal you must write an average of 1,667 words a day. The trick to this is that, when you sit down to write, don’t stop. Revising and editing can be done later; November is just about getting the story written.

Each day participants can update their word count on the website and stats will tell you how many words you still have to go, when you are expected to finish considering your current stats and how many words you would have to write per day to complete 50,000 words before the deadline. The best part of it, though, is not really the competition but the community. The website has everything from forums to badges to information on NaNo near you.

I have signed up for the challenge and it’s this last part that I’m enjoying the most. It turns out there there is a rather large group of writers in my area who have taken up the challenge. If I want to I can talk to them online and discuss my progress or even the kind of food I’ve bought for rewards (currently boxed chocolate – I get 1 and a glass of nice wine every day when I complete my daily writing goal). The group in my region also meets up twice a week at a local bookshop, to write, to gain and give encouragement, to take a break, or just to chat.

I don’t know if I’ll complete the challenge, but I’m writing, more and faster than I have in a very long time and, more importantly, I’m really enjoying myself.

So, if you’re a budding novelist just getting started, someone who just wants to write for fun, or an author with a novel or two finished who needs a push (me) or just wants a challenge then I would highly recommend signing up.

It’s still early in the month or there is always next year.

Go to to sign up.

Happy writing everyone,

Rose Connelly


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kerry Letheby
    Nov 11, 2012 @ 21:32:15

    Great article Rose. I’m enjoying my first NaNo experience as well. My reason to be involved is to try to be more disciplined with writing and find a regular time to do it, and to get a head start on the sequel for my newly released book. I start a new job next week and will lose the opportunity to write whenever I want so it must become part of a new routine.


    • roseconnelly
      Nov 12, 2012 @ 10:42:55

      Thanks for reading Kerry and I’m very glad you enjoyed it. It can be hard to psyche yourself up to write (even if you enjoy it) when you’ve had a busy day. Finding a routine and sticking to it is key. Good luck on your sequel. Where did you release your new book?


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