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NaNoWriMo: 30 days of madness

Updated on October 15, 2013
One of many NaNo logos you can put on your Facebook, blog, or website to show your participation.
One of many NaNo logos you can put on your Facebook, blog, or website to show your participation. | Source

A novel in 30 days?!

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, is an annual event run by the Office of Letters and Light in which participants from all over the world attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in a single month. Taking place in November each year, NaNoWriMo offers both new and experienced authors a chance to cultivate discipline, creativity, and lack of sleep.

I skipped doing it the last two years, after having three successful years under my belt, but I've recently decided to give it another try this year. I feel like I'm well-prepared for this one, but for first-timers the whole idea of writing a novel in 30 days can be intimidating. I thought I'd write this Hub about how to get prepared for the upcoming 30 days of madness.

NaNoWriMo tips

  1. If you're a new "Wrimo," be sure to head over to and get yourself registered. It's free, and necessary if you want to officially participate. If you've previously registered, you might want to check out the site in the days leading up to November to make sure all your info is in order and update anything that needs updated.
  2. Once you're registered on the site, look around the NaNoWriMo forums and make yourself at home. Many Wrimos credit the community aspect of the site and its forums with helping them stay on track during the month. You can usually find a local or regional forum for your area, offering you the chance to meet fellow Wrimos in person. In the more populated areas, there are often regular meet-ups throughout the month, and this too can help spur you on to your November 30th victory.
  3. Prepare your family and friends for your journey. Let them know what your goal is, and why you may need some time to yourself during November. You may be surprised at how supportive those around you can be, and if they think you're crazy just wait until you can prove them wrong as you cross that 50,000-word mark towards the end of the month!
  4. Don't get too far behind in your daily goals. 50,000 words in 30 days works out to about 1,667 words per day. It's okay to fall short a few days out of the month, but don't let too many days go by without getting caught back up. You don't want to find yourself during the last week of the month with 25,000 words left to go. Some people are good at churning out word count in a short amount of time (I'm not one of them), but for most it's extremely helpful to just try to stay on track with 1,667 or more words per day from the beginning. There are spreadsheets and other resources available on the NaNo forums for help in keeping track of your daily goals.
  5. Don't worry too much about the quality of the work itself; the point is quantity. I have a lot of trouble with this one myself, but the point is not to have a perfect draft ready for publication by the end of the month. As with any first draft, it's okay to make mistakes and change your mind in the middle of your writing. Just remember what Hemingway said: "The first draft of anything is [naughty word for feces]." There's plenty of time for editing in December.

Let me know...

... in the poll or comments below if you're going to be joining the NaNoWriMo madness this year. I'd love to hear from you and maybe we can share our progress throughout the month. I'll be blogging about NaNo all throughout the month, so check out my blog or follow me on Twitter for updates.


Are you crazy enough to do NaNoWriMo?!

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    • Stories Inc. profile image

      Stories Inc. 6 years ago

      A sane writer? Whatever gave you that silly idea... :P

      Still, thanks for the tips. I didn't even know there was a site for this... But as it's my first time, I decided to use an 'easier' version for the first year and try to get to 50.000 words on my novel, but I'm t starting entirely from zero.

      Perhaps it's cheating, but I like to see it as adapting rules creatively and then see where it goes. If I make it to a full 50.000 words, that would be awesome, but I dpn't want to overdo it and get blocked. Again.

      Good luck to everyone next month!

    • rabecker profile image

      rabecker 6 years ago

      This is the second hub I've seen about this event. Between the two hubs this is the first I am learning about this event. Though I do own the book in a month book.

      Thank you for the information and the tips. I don't think i could do this now, but maybe next year.

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 6 years ago

      Voted up, useful, interesting, bookmarked, and AWESOME. I've been waiting for this, and I'm doing it this year because I happen to be ready. Thanks for the inspiration!